Why TimesCity Acquired Dineout; Growth, Future Plans & More [Interview]

Earlier today, we wrote about TimesCity’s latest acquisition: Dineout, a restaurant booking service. Looking back at what the company is doing, it becomes apparent that it is trying to create a complete service and is picking companies and teams that fit that strategy. For instance, the acquisition  of Gawbl led to the launch of their mobile app.

Dineout, which was already a TimesCity partner also plugs another user requirement on TimesCity. The startup was doing about 20,000 bookings in a month and its software installed at restaurants gives them access to inventory. Dineout was out to raise a new round of funding when the offer they couldn’t refuse came along from TimesCity.

“Anyone who has a thesis on this sector would have invested and they chose us because it was a handsome offer. If I was on the other side, I would have taken it,” Miten Sampat, the head of TimesCity told NextBigWhat in an interview.

Timescity

Meanwhile, TimesCity has also overtaken competitors like Buzzintown and Burrp on traffic. Around this time last year, TimesCity had half a million unique visitors a month. Now it has more than tripled.

Here’s an edited excerpt from our interview.

How has TimesCity grown so far?

Lot of the basic infrastructure we needed for the site has really come together in the last 6 months. We’ve increased the depth and breadth of of our content. If you look at comScore, we’ve been growing at about twice the pace of our competition. We’ve overtaken Burrp consistently for the past 6 months. We are ahead of Zomato in the Indian traffic. We are definitely creating value for consumers.

How is mobile picking up?

We launched our mobile website (m.timescity.com) in March last year. We now have over a million unique visitors from our mobile website. At the end of December, we launched our mobile app after the acquisition of Gawbl. Last week, we were featured as the #1 free lifestyle app on App store. About 40-45% of our overall traffic comes from mobile platforms.

Recently, Zomato, moved to a completely social play. In today’s context, it makes a lot of sense. What is next for TimesCity?

We are obsessively focused on being a full-service platform where our users can explore & discover new restaurants, nightlife, movies, and happening events across their city.For us, the problem statement is not where am I going to eat. It is about what am I going to do this weekend? Our objective is to provide a service that plays this bigger role. Social is an interesting play. We will be using social platforms to focus on the goal. In the near term, we will be launching a fresh look to our website, and expanding to other markets across India.

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