SingTel continues shopping spree, acquires HungryGoWhere for US$9.4M


SingTel announced in a press release today that it is acquiring GTW Holdings, the owners of HungryGoWhere, Singapore’s most visited foodie site, for S$12M (US$9.4M).

The site, which was started in 2007, has a presence in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Australia. Under the terms, GTW will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SingTel. It will merge operations with, another SingTel subsidiary with an audience of two million customers.

With the purchase, SingTel claims it has the largest food and lifestyle audience in the island state.

GTW’s Singapore-based founders will play a crucial role in growing SingTel’s services in Singapore and beyond.

GTW will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SingTel. Its operations will be merged with, also a subsidiary of SingTel, giving the combined portal an audience of 2 million customers, which SingTel claims makes it the largest food and lifestyle audience in Singapore.

GTW’s Singapore-based founders will continue to play an important role in expanding SingTel’s services in Singapore and internationally, according to the press release.

(Read our 2009 interview with Wong Hoong An, HungryGoWhere co-founder)

“A cornerstone of SingTel’s growth strategy is to build digital solutions that help consumers in their daily lives – as they live, work and play. Possessing the local knowledge and content is critical as it allows us to compete effectively in these areas,” said Allen Lew, CEO of SingTel’s Digital L!fe group.

“SingTel will continue to form partnerships for important and unique content, including in retail, entertainment and other lifestyle needs. The talented HungryGoWhere team has built a much-loved brand which has become the go-to site for restaurant reviews and information, delivering a great experience around one of Singapore’s favourite pastimes.” he said.

Dennis Goh, founder and managing director of HungryGoWhere, said: “This deal allows our award-winning content to be seen by even more people in the region and will accelerate the investment and distribution of our new online restaurant reservation system.”

SingTel plans to grow HungryGoWhere’s existing restaurant reservation system, TableDB, and help it scale across Asia. In Singapore, TableDB is competing with Chope and, which are the front-runners in the space.

The telecommunications company has been making a number of acquisitions in the digital media and advertising space of late. In March this year, it purchased US digital ads company Amobee for US$321M. In May, it bought AdJitsu, a 3D mobile advertising company.

Expect the Singapore giant to make more acquisitions in the coming months, especially in emerging markets. It has hinted that it will acquire non-phone businesses in China and India, in a move away from slow-growth markets in Singapore and Australia.

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