Indian startup that is tackling the country's chaotic lodging market by finding reliable bookings, Oyo Hotels has raised $1 billion. It will use the funds to expand into the Chinese market and beyond.
Existing investors including SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners have put in $800 million, with commitments for another $200 million, the company said on Tuesday. About $600 million of the total will be plowed into China where Oyo began operations only 10 months ago. The funding values the startup at $5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Ritesh Agarwal, a 24-year-old college dropout, founded Oyo five years after traveling around India on a shoestring budget. He discovered wildly unpredictable standards for hotels, and guest houses, and decided to start an online service to bring more reliability to the travel experience. In the past two years, Oyo has expanded beyond India into China, Malaysia, Nepal, and Britain.
“With this additional funding, we plan to rapidly scale our business in these countries, while continuing to invest further in technology and talent,” Agarwal said in the statement. “We will also deploy fresh capital to take our unique model that enables small hotel owners to create quality living spaces, global.”
His startup, whose official name is Oravel Stays Pvt, signs on hotel owners and then gets them to upgrade everything from linen, toiletries and bathroom fittings to its specifications. It also equips hotels with staff training and standardized supplies.
Read more here
Join us in Madrid from the 13th to the 16th of November for the Property Portal Watch Conference.