Indian budget hotel booking start-up Oyo Rooms has raised a fund of $1 billion by expanding in China and the company now sums up to a total of $5 billion to join the unicorn club within just 5 years of starting and led by a young 24-year-old CEO Ritesh Agrawal.
Finding clean and budget-friendly hotels in the chaotic Indian lodging market was a nightmare, until Oyo Rooms was introduced in 2013. Founded by Agrawal at the age of 17 after facing unpleasant surprises with affordable online hotel bookings, Oyo Rooms promises truth in advertising and branded hotels that don’t deliver unpleasant experiences. Within just five years, Oyo has aggressively expanded its franchise model beyond India – in China, West Asia and other markets; including a service launch last week even in the UK.
However, India and China remains to be the company’s largest market – so focusing on the two, Oyo Rooms has managed to pump in $1 billion to fund expansion into China and other global regions. With existing investors like SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners raining millions worth of investment into the hotel-booking chain, Oyo has garnered itself a fund of $1 billion – of which, $600 million will be used just in China. Currently, the funding value of Oyo Rooms has pillowed up to a total of $5 billion and joined the unicorn club within just 5 years of foundation.
With the extra funds, Agrawal plans to scale out his business into multiple countries and continue expansion in existing markets. At a $5 billion, Oyo has become India’s most-valuable start-up after One97 Communications, the parent of digital payments pioneer Paytm. However, the young entrepreneur has no stopping and says that, “We want to convert broken, unbranded assets around the globe into better-quality living spaces” after which, Oyo will become world’s largest hotel chain by 2023.