Oyo, a hotel room aggregator startup based out of India, along with some of the largest brands in the travel industry, like Airbnb and China's Ctrip, have made announcements on a number of investments made to Oyo.
The two giants say Oyo's reach in emerging markets and smaller cities will complement their own offerings, but analysts say competition may be inevitable as the startup pushes into fields where Airbnb and Ctrip already have strong footprints.
"Oyo has grown very quickly and is making something unique," Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview in Tokyo.
"Airbnb is growing a lot in emerging markets where consumers are price-sensitive," he added, which makes Oyo appealing in terms of potential "strategic partners for the next generation of travel."
Airbnb announced in April that it was investing in the Gurgaon-based startup. The amount is undisclosed though reported to be between $150 million and $200 million.
The following month, Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency, announced a strategic partnership with Oyo to better reach hotels in second- and third-tier Chinese cities, where the Indian startup is expanding rapidly.
Oyo says it is the world's seventh-largest hotel chain in terms of the number of rooms, with sales growing 4.3 times in fiscal 2018. It oversees a network of budget hotels in more than 500 cities in 10 countries that allows owners to use Oyo's data-driven management system to boost efficiency.
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