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Listing ceremony in cafeteria, digital buzzer, pizza for employees: How Zomato went public

For a public issue that generated huge interest, Zomato's listing ceremony was quite understated.

July 23, 2021 / 06:59 PM IST
Food delivery platform Zomato listed on the stock exchanges on July 23 in a low-key event at its office

Food delivery platform Zomato listed on the stock exchanges on July 23 in a low-key event at its office


It was a seminal moment for the Indian start-up ecosystem, where IPOs are a rare occurrence. But there is only a 20 second video clip to document it. If there was a contest for the most understated listing ceremony for a public issue that generated huge interest, Zomato would have won it hands down.

After being privately funded for over a decade, India's leading food delivery platform became a publicly traded company at 10 am on July 23, 2021, in a low-key event at its office. There was no live streaming, photo-ops, address by the CEO or the ceremonial ringing of gong—the bells and whistles so to speak—that usually accompany listing ceremonies at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). It was as if Zomato, which has received so much ink these past few days, was suddenly not thrilled with the limelight.

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This is how the event flowed according to the people Moneycontrol spoke to. The listing event happened at the cafeteria area at Zomato's headquarters in Gurugram and lasted for about 30 minutes.

Co-founder Gaurav Gupta was the host, accompanied by Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal on stage. The audience included other members of the top management such as Mohit Gupta & Akshant Goyal, some employees of Zomato, a couple of restaurant partners, delivery partners and a couple of customers and its early investors- InfoEdge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Sequoia Capital India's Mohit Bhatnagar.

Close to listing time, Zomato's customers were on stage to hit the digital buzzer, along with Deepinder and Gaurav's young daughters. Balloons and confetti flew up, as Zomato listed with a pop.

Also Read: Zomato IPO: Early investor Sequoia talks about the food delivery giant’s origins and X-factor

Its shares made a bumper debut, closing its first day of trade at Rs 126 per share on the NSE, up 66 percent from its issue price of Rs 76. While its market capitalisation crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark during the day, it ended at Rs 98,211 crore on closing.

"Today, on the day of our listing, we wish we could’ve brought everyone under a single roof. Since that’s not possible, we decided to bring a few of our customers, delivery partners and restaurant partners to our “ringing the bell” ceremony", Zomato said in a brief statement.

There were less than 50 people in all for the listing event. Zomato later ordered pizzas for its employees who came to work during the day.

Apart from the COVID-19 factor, Zomato wanted to convey that this was just another day in its history, or 'back to work' as Deepinder often likes to say. It also possibly didn't want to jinx its listing day by introducing a lot of fanfare.

Deepinder, who stayed away from investor roadshows, analyst meets and media in the run up to the IPO, finally shared his thoughts in a letter addressed to all stakeholders on Friday morning.

"Today is a big day for us. A new Day Zero. But we couldn’t have gotten here without the incredible efforts of India’s entire internet ecosystem. Jio’s prolific growth has set all of us up for unprecedented scale. Flipkart, Amazon, Ola, Uber, Paytm – have also over the years, collectively laid the railroads that are enabling companies like ours to build the India of the future. We stand proudly and humbly on the shoulders of giants, and we thank everyone for giving us, and so many other startups, the opportunity to look ahead into the future", he wrote.

Also Read: How does Zomato listing stack up with global food delivery peers?

"I don’t know whether we will succeed or fail – we will surely, like always, give it our best. But I hope that the fact that we are here, inspires millions of Indians to dream bigger than we ever have, and build something way more incredible than what we can dream of" Deepinder signed off.

Zomato has seen an overwhelming response from investors so far and is now India's most valuable listed internet company. The coming months and quarters will show if the investor appetite will remain strong, as Zomato will be under more investor and analyst scrutiny than ever before.
Chandra R Srikanth is Editor- Tech, Startups, and New Economy
first published: Jul 23, 2021 06:30 pm

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