Led by SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA) with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital, OYO has raised $800 million in its latest financing round. Five-year-old online hotel room aggregator OYO has announced a $1 billion fundraising programme, from prominent Japanese investor Softbank and others, primarily to expand its operations in China and other countries.
While the company has also received a commitment of an additional $200 million, bringing the total amount to $1 billion in this round. OYO Founder & CEO Ritesh Agarwal said; “In the last 12 months, we have increased our international footprint to five countries – India, China, Malaysia and Nepal, and more recently in the UK. He added; with this additional funding, we plan to rapidly scale our business in these countries, while continuing to invest further in technology and talent”
According to sources privy to the development, the valuation of OYO reaches $3-4 billion posts the round bringing it in the league of other Softbank-backed unicorns such as Ola.
Last week, OYO had said it plans to hire over 2,000 technology experts and engineers by 2020. The company hopes to invest in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT, that will make curated guest experiences at every price point a reality while ensuring sustainable incomes for partners and livelihood prospects for several Indians.
The company claims that it has 125,000 rooms in India and is witnessing three-fold growth in transactions year-on-year with net take rates over 20%. Oyo China, on the other hand, has a presence in 171 cities with over 87,000 rooms.
Launched in May 2013, by 23-year old Ritesh Agarwal, OYO used to aggregate select rooms across hotels and offer them on its website. The company, however, had to face many backlashes on social media for poor customer service and poor quality of inventory in some parts of India.
Currently, it is on its acquisition spree that is; it has acquired three startups this year. These include Mumbai-based Weddings, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors; Chennai-based service apartment operator Novascotia Boutique Homes in March, and the Internet of Things technology venture, AblePlus in July. The company is also targeting 100 venues by December this year in eight cities, including Delhi/NCR, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Kolkata.