Economy

Restaurant search app Zomato snaps up Urbanspoon; SMEs plan to cut jobs in 2015: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

Global restaurant search app Zomato has made its first play in the Australian market, snapping up popular local restaurant directory Urbanspoon.

A spokesperson for Zomato told SmartCompany the purchase price was between $US50 and $US60 million ($61.4 to $73.7 million) for the global acquisition.

Zomato said in a statement the company plans to hire around 300 people for its Australian operations and will invest $10 million in Australia over the next 12 months.

In Australia, Urbanspoon attracts around eight million website and mobile visits per month and features listings for more than 50,000 restaurants.

Zomato said Urbanspoon “will be integrated into the Zomato platform”, increasing Zomato’s coverage from 300,000 restaurants to more than 1 million and doubling Zomato’s traffic from 35 million monthly users to more than 80 million.

SMEs plan to cut jobs in 2015

A third of Australia’s SMEs are planning to axe jobs in the next 12 months, according to a survey of 2300 local small businesses.

The research released yesterday by money transfer firm Western Union Business Solutions also shows 68% of businesses surveyed believe the Australian economy has deteriorated in the past year.

“As a result of this negative outlook, 33% of SME operators plan to decrease head count over the next 12 months, with just 1% planning to hire additional staff,” Western Union Business Solutions said in a statement.

“This comes in the wake of the recent rise in unemployment figures to 6.3%, the highest rate in 12 years.”

Aussie shares down as oil drops

Local shares are down this morning as oil prices continue to slide.

“Another plunge in oil prices – down 5% overnight to five year lows – is likely to further pressure Australian shares today,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“A strong start to US reporting season, a rally in European shares, and gains for precious metals, may not be enough to stem the selling. Regionally, significant data releases could change the direction of the market mid-session.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 37.5 points to 5385.2 points at 12:11PM AEDT. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.54%, falling 96.53 points to 17,640.8 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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