7 Things That Make Oyo India's Most Aggressive Startup
Sky is the limit for Oyo founder, Ritesh Agarwal
Who would have thought that a hotel aggregator business started by a teenage college dropout could become a success, much less India’s only startup to grow leaps and bounds globally? Much has been said and written about Oyo rooms in the past year, be it the aggressive expansion, acquisitions, funding and more. The past year has been historic for Ritesh Agarwal’s business empire.
The journey which started from one dingy hotel has now reached its 100th townhouse hotel and more so, has plans to crossover the assisted-living communities or retirement homes, for senior citizens in the future. According to reports, the hospitality giant has plans to venture into space through its real estate business arm, Oyo Living.
Let’s have a look at the remarkable year Oyo has had and what started it all:
Expanding Global Footprint
The dialogue around Oyo’s global expansion had just started when Japanese investor SoftBank invested $1 billion in its business, boosting its plan to go global. The Indian unicorn raised $800 million from SoftBank Vision Fund in September before raising another $200 million from its already existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital.
The Big Funding: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/320648
In six years, the Gurugram-based hotel chain that has over 815,000 rooms in nearly 10 countries including India, the United Kingdom, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and where the expansion started, China. “Today OYO is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in China, and “it has happened” because of having great partners in business,” Agarwal had said at Entrepreneur Annual Conclave 2018.
Unstoppable in China: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318208
If checking into various geographical boundaries was not enough, Oyo formed a joint venture in February to start OYO LIFE services in Tokyo, with more than 1,000 residential units, under which it will offer technology-driven rental housing products to Japanese students, citizens and young professionals. The organization also teamed up with Yahoo Japan Corporation and appointed Hiro Katsuse as the Chief Executive Officer to oversee operations in Japan.
Beyond Hospitality: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/331562
After a spree of international expansions, Oyo ventures into other modes of habilitation through multiple ventures. The hospitality company ventured into co-living rental places with OYO Living in October 2018. Targeted to gen X and young professionals, the venture started with hosting properties in Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, and Pune.
Entry in Co-living: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/322102
After foraying in co-living, co-working was the next spot for the Indian unicorn which acquired Gurugram-based startup Innov8 in an all-cash deal worth about $31.84 million. OYO also revamped the presence of mid to budget category co-working startups, Workflo and PowerStation.
Debut in Co-working: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330233
Oyo’s recent steps have proved that it is no more satisfied with being called a hospitality platform alone and recently moved into a new territory of cloud kitchens. In fact, its hospitality paid loyalty programme, OYO Wizard reached 1.5 million users recently, contributing to about 25 per cent of its bookings.
The Young Success: https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/328827
Oyo’s success can only be credited to the man who built this platform from scratch – Ritesh Agarwal. The man has been in the media limelight ever since the hotel chain received its first funding. Building a startup which matches with his personality of being surreal and giving employment to not just a 10,000 oyopreneurs but partners all over to build a vision of the world’s largest hotel network is a journey that according to him has just begun. The nation can be more proud.
A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster.