Oyo Rooms, the budget hotel startup from India has raised a record $1 billion in its latest funding round led by UAE and Saudi Arabia-backed SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Other contributors included Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Due to its aggressive push into the domestic market since launch in 2013, Oyo hardly needs an introduction in India. The company currently lists more than 125,000 hotel rooms in India alone. Additionally, it also has a strong presence in China (87,000+ rooms), Nepal, Malaysia, and the U.K.
The company now plans on further strengthening its grip in the U.K. market by having 300 or more hotels in its network. However, the bulk of the newly raised fund — $600 million to be specific — will be spent in expanding the Oyo network in China. Apart from that, it is also looking for a suitable opportunity to enter the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian markets.
“Markets such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East, which have a large volume of unbranded hotels, offer the budget accommodation provider the potential to expand,” said Oyo’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Ritesh Agarwal in a conversation with the media. He added: “While we will double down on our investment in home markets, we will open new geographies in the future. We have a very large opportunity worldwide.”
Oyo was founded by Ritesh Agarwal when he was only 19. The startup serves as a hotel aggregator that partners small hotel owners and collaborate with them to standardize rooms and services.