Fast-growing restaurant directory service Zomato is cutting ties with the remaining engineers from Urbanspoon, seven months after it acquired the Seattle-based restaurant reviews site for roughly $60 million.
Zomato spokesperson Naina Sahni Parnaik confirmed with GeekWire that the company is “consolidating our various engineering teams at our headquarters in New Delhi” and will focus “on our core business and not build any new apps.”
As a result, Zomato laid off the remaining members of Urbanspoon’s engineering team, which Parnaik said “played a pivotal role in helping move Urbanspoon over to Zomato.”
“We are extremely sad to see them go,” she said.
Zomato did not say how many employees were let go, but a source tells GeekWire that six engineers from Urbanspoon were still working for Zomato until this week. The source added that Urbanspoon had 18 employees on its engineering team when Zomato acquired the company in January; however, 12 of those had already left in the months following the acquisition.
A majority of the other Urbanspoon carryovers in marketing, UX, and product management have also already left to find new opportunities. Urbanspoon employed around 40 at the time of the acquisition.
Parnaik noted that the Urbanspoon engineering team was building an entirely new app after the acquisition, but since then Zomato decided to wean away from making new apps. She added that “exits have been very pleasant” and shared an email sent from Urbanspoon CTO Charlie Morss to Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal:
Deepinder and Pooja,
I just wanted to take a minute [and] thank you both for the fun ride of the last 6 months. You’ve made a difficult transition for a lot of people much easier by being real, genuine and, above all, generous. I’m glad I got the chance to get to know you both just this little bit.
I wish you the very best and when you’re back in town and have an extra minute it would be good to hook up.
In January, when Zomato acquired Urbanspoon, the New Delhi, India-based company said it was interested in using the Urbanspoon’s 31 million app downloads and huge directory of restaurants to help battle the heavyweights of the industry, like Yelp. As part of that, it announced it would phase out the Urbanspoon brand.
In June, Zomato announced it had shut down Urbanspoon’s website and app, making for a somewhat abrupt ending for Urbanspoon, which was founded nine years ago and had been operating previously under Barry Diller’s IAC portfolio of Internet brands. The company also was in talks with other bidders like Yelp, The Food Network, and Groupon, all who were interested in swooping up Urbanspoon.
A search on LinkedIn shows a little more than 150 employees now working for Zomato in the U.S., with 23 of them from the Seattle area — more than half of which are in content-related jobs.
Zomato was founded in New Delhi in July 2008, and counted more than 330,000 listed restaurants in Canada, Brazil, Ireland and other countries prior to the Urbanspoon acquisition, which gave the company an additional one million-plus listings primarily in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Zomato employs more than 2,000.