Oyo, an affordable hotel startup from India, has recently ended its latest funding round with $1 billion. Led by SoftBank, the hotel startup will use this money to help its expansion into the United Arab Emirates, which started earlier this year and has already claimed that the startup helped over 100,000 guests find lodging in just nine months, putting Oyo as a top contender against travel booking giant, Airbnb.
Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal who was only 19 at the time, Oyo works as a hotel aggregator that partners with independent and small hotel owners and works with them to standardize rooms and services with basics like clean sheets and WiFi. The startup then sells these Oyo-branded rooms through its online platform. Apart from franchised hotels, Oyo has recently also added homes and living spaces to its platform.
The startup currently manages an inventory of 1300 rooms across 14 properties and 20 homes in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah, and is aiming to take this number to 12,000 (rooms) by 2020. Oyo aims to continue adding two, three and four star hotels to its network in UAE.
Interestingly, almost 46% of Oyo’s guests since its launch in UAE have come from within UAE with the rest coming from India, Oman, Saudi Arabia, France, Russia, United States, Australia, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, United Kingdom among several other countries.
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