Report says Google in talks to buy Just Dial’s business; Just Dial denies


Global internet giant Google is in talks with domestic hyper-local search engine Just Dial to buy the latter’s business, Business Standard reported.

Sources in the know of the deal told the newspaper that the companies entered into exclusive talks a couple of months ago, after having discussed it for some time.

Earlier this year, Google launched a hyper-local app for food delivery and home service in India called Google Areo. Google has teamed up with UrbanClap, Faasos, Freshmenu, Holachef and Box8 to provide services, putting it in competition with Just Dial.

If the deal materialises, Google will get access to Just Dial’s database of 20 million pan-India listings, apart from the database built organically.

Abhishek Bansal, CEO of Just Dial said in response to the newspaper’s email that the company does explore various strategic tie-ups and meet various companies for the same.

Just Dial’s core listing business has been facing tough competition from companies like Zomato and Practo in the recent times. Nearly 70 percent of its traffic comes from Google.

In its response to a query from the stock exchange, the company denied being in discussion with Google for the sale of its business and termed the newspaper report as ‘factually incorrect’.

Just Dial was founded in 1996 by VSS Mani in Mumbai and provides search services through its app, website and mobile. The company had 10,892 employees at the end of September 2017 quarter reported a net profit of Rs 37.5 crore and revenue of Rs 194.4 crore.

Written by Loknath Das