Food aggregator Swiggy is in early talks with the Times' Internet-backed Dineout. People said that the food delivery app is exploring full or partial purchase for restaurant management and table booking firm.
Talks with Swiggy began about two months ago. Late last year, Dineout was also in talks with Cred,” one of the persons cited above said without giving a timeframe.
They did not comment on the size of the potential deal. Previously, media reports of talks between Dineout and Cred had pegged Dineout's valuation at $25-50 million.
"There is no such thing yet. These are conversations that are still happening. We are partnered with Swiggy and Cred on couple of initiatives and maybe that's why this has come up," said Ankit Mehrotra, co-founder of Dineout.
Swiggy declined to comment.
Founded by Mehrotra, Nikhil Bakshi, Sahil Jain and Vivek Kapoor in 2012, Dineout was acquired by Times Internet in 2014 through its TimesCity platform for an estimated value of Rs 60 crore.
SoftBank-backed Swiggy closed a $700 million funding round in January led by asset manager Invesco, nearly doubling its valuation from its previous fundraising to $10.7 billion.
The company said at the time that the company's food delivery business nearly doubled in total order value in the last year, adding that the new capital would help it accelerate growth on its core platform as well as realize new investments to grow the local delivery service through Instamart.
If the Dineout deal goes through, Swiggy could follow the path taken by Zomato, to offer more of a 360-degree restaurant ecosystem, said Samir Kukriga, founder and CEO of Tasanaya Hospitality, a boutique consulting firm, which also functions as a transaction advisory for restaurants.
Kuckreja pointed out that Dineout has a point of sale (PoS) system widely used by restaurants, a loyalty program, and a table reservation system. The acquisition could result in Swiggy acquiring these technologies and the teams and customers already using these platforms.
"If Swiggy was to go down this path, it will try to be a food and beverage solution provider in the industry in different regions and not just a delivery aggregator. Zomato has done this for many years and ended up closing some sectors that won't work." Kuckreja said.
Dineout has acquired Gourmet Passport, a membership app that provides access to food, drinks and buffets for free. It also acquired Torqus, a cloud-based PoS firm.
The company bought Resto Services, a restaurant management system, for an undisclosed amount in 2018. The system helps digitize restaurant ordering and loyalty programs. Dineout competes with EazyDiner, which was founded in 2014 for the National Capital Region.
Times Internet is a digital products company and the digital venture of the Times Group. The company owns the magicBricks online real estate listing portal, the Gaana music streaming service, and the ETMoney personal finance platform.
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