Indian food delivery giant Zomato is in talks to raise around ₹2,800 crores ($400 million) in funding with an expected valuation of $1.8-2 billion, according to people familiar with the development.
China’s Nasdaq-listed travel booking platform Ctrip is also expected to pump in around ₹700 crores ($100 million) in the round, along with Zomato’s existing investor Ant Financial, the investment arm of Alibaba, according to the same sources.
Ctrip hasn’t been the most active Chinese strategic investor in India, with the only investment in the online travel company MakeMyTrip.
So far the deal has not been confirmed by either Zomato or Ctrip.
If the deal goes through, it will be Ctrip’s first significant investment outside the travel domain, which has a market capitalization of over $20 billion.
Ctrip had acquired Scottish travel website Skyscanner for $1.7 billion two years ago, also owns Tours4Fun, travel research site Trip.com and Trip by Skyscanner. It is ranked among the top four online travel agencies across the world among Expedia, TripAdvisor, and The Priceline Group.
Addition of Ctrip to Zomato’s backers will enable the foodtech startup to expand more aggressively as it competes with its rival Swiggy in the food delivery domain.
Earlier last month, it was reported that Swiggy was in talks to raise $500 million with a valuation of $2.5 billion.
The new fundings for both the foodtech giants will only amplify the rivalry in the Indian foodtech market as they look to expand into smaller cities to capture the growing market.
While Zomato is still behind Swiggy in food delivery, it is intensifying its expansion to further provide a stiff competition to Swiggy and expand its market share.
Recently, Zomato acquired online corporate catering startup Tonguestun and last month, it also launched its food delivery service in seven tier 2 cities to expand outreach.