Food delivery giant Zomato on Friday became India's first new-age technology unicorn to list on the country's bourses, scripting a stellar debut that could soon lure similar internet-based consumer start-ups to go public.
The company, backed by Jack Ma's Ant Group, in fact, rode on the Covid outbreak that has prompted a trend of people moving to order food items online the world over. Such was the fantabulous listing -- true to hype -- that Zomato's market capitalization breached 12 billion US dollar mark in the first hour itself, making it one of the 50 most valuable traded firms.
The listing price was Rs 115 and Rs 116 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), respectively, as against the offer price of Rs 76. NSE's flagship NIFTY 50 index is used by domestic and global investors as a barometer of the Indian capital market as well as the economy.
'Future exciting, but a long way to go'
"The future looks exciting. I don’t know whether we will succeed or fail -- we will surely, like always, give it our best," Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal tweeted.
In a letter to the company's shareholders, tagged on the micro-blogging site, Goyal also hailed its business rival -- Japan's SoftBank-funded Swiggy -- but said that both the food delivery companies "have a long way to go before we can call ourselves world class by our customers’ standards".
"India is a tough market to operate in, but if you are building to succeed in India, you are already exceptional. I say that because I believe Zomato and Swiggy are two of the best food delivery apps in the world today. We have a long way to go before we can call ourselves world class by our customers’ standards, but we are determined to get there.
"We have lived through many ups and downs -- something not every company has the privilege of living long enough to do. I have made many decisions which have been good for the company, while some have caused our stakeholders a lot of heartburn...
"We are going to relentlessly focus on 10 years out and beyond, and are not going to alter our course for short-term profits at the cost of long-term success. The tremendous response to our IPO gives us the confidence that the world is full of investors who appreciate the magnitude of investments we are making...," he wrote.
Founded as Foodiebay in 2008 by Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, both technology graduates, and rechristened Zomato two years later, the food delivery firm's technology platform connects customers, restaurant partners and delivery partners, serving their multiple needs.
The service is currently available in almost all major Indian cities and in several countries.
The company's customers use the Zomato platform to search and discover restaurants, read and write customer generated reviews and view and upload photos, order food delivery, book a table and make payments while dining out.