Oyo Innov8(ing) the Business Plan
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After six years of building the unicorn, OYO marks its debut in the commercial real estate sector and acquires Innov8 for Rs 200 crore approximately. Adding co-working spaces to its portfolio, OYO aims to expand its presence to over 50 centres across India by the end of the year. As a mandate from SoftBank, the global hotel chain’s plans to enter into co-living and co-working spaces has also turned out to be an opportunity for Innov8 as it was looking for a similar buyout too. OYO has been aggressive with acquisitions since last year and this year too is no different with a major deal taking shape.
- 2011: Oravel, destination for short and mid-term rentals for bed and breakfast joints, private rooms and serviced apartments was the first venture which went through the start-up accelerator program offered by Venture Nursery. Next year, they raised seed funding from angel investors.
- 2013: OYO (On Your Own) received a fellowship of around Rs 55 lakh from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel when Ovarel Stays was remodelled to OYO. Re-launched by Ritesh Agarwal in Gurugram, it leveraged the untapped opportunity in organising India’s neighbourhood hotels.
- 2015: Shared workspaces start-up Innov8 owned by Guerilla Infra Solutions was launched by doctor-turned-investor and former Adstuck Consulting founder Ritesh Malik and IIT Kharagpur alumnus Shailesh Gupta in Connaught Place, New Delhi. It is an asset-light model focusing on leasing working spaces for up to 10 years.
- MARCH 2015: OYO received a funding of around Rs 150 crore from its investors such as Lightspeed India, Sequoia and others in order to have 1,000 hotels on its platform in 25 cities by the year-end.
- APRIL 2015: OYO launched its mobile app to help customers to book rooms directly. It had expanded to Kolkata, Mumbai, Goa, Bengaluru and had almost incorporated 2,000 hotels, 20,000 rooms and 100 cities in India.
- JULY 2015: OYO bagged around Rs 689 crore in Series C round of funding from Japanese investor SoftBank that led to a financially fulfilling year for the company.
- JAN 2016: OYO’s hotel chain hit the 1 million check-ins mark and also made an advent outside India into the Asia Pacific market, beginning with Malaysia.
- JULY 2016: Innov8, with an approximate spread over of 22,000-27,000 sq ft, was selected by US-based fund Y Incubator to launch co-working at City Emporium Mall, Chandigarh.
- SEP 2016: Innov8 raised its first round of funding from investors in the US, China, Japan and India.
- JAN 2017: OYO launched its business in Nepal and China. The company also launched Townhouse in India. It’s a managed hotel brand designed as social hotspot for guests.
- FEB 2017: Innov8 raised an angel funding led by online deal-making platform Lets Venture and Mumbai-based seed investment platform Venture Catalysts.
- SEP 2017: OYO China had created a presence in 171 cities with over 87,000 rooms. China Lodging Group (renamed Huazhu Group in June 2018) is a multi-billion-dollar firm.
“Innov8 was started with a mission to upgrade and transform all forms of real estate. We aspire to expand to other cities in India and later to global markets. This alliance will work towards simplifying and strengthening the co-working experience for Indians.” Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8
- 2018: OYO marked the establishment of its empire in Asia Pacific and kick-started international proliferation by establishing operations in the UK, the UAE, Dubai, China, Singapore and Indonesia.
- MARCH 2018: OYO acquired Chennai-based service apartment operator Novascotia Boutique Homes, establishing its presence in the service apartment and corporate executive stay segment.
- JULY 2018: OYO acquired AblePlus, a Mumbai-based Internet of Things (IoT) start-up. OYO customers were able to look at self check-ins supported by digital arrival and departure register.
- AUGUST 2018: OYO forayed into India’s $40- billion wedding management industry with Weddingz.in. This acquisition gave new life to a fragmented, low-yield, broken customer service banquet and venue management business of OYO.
- OCTOBER 2018: Innov8 raised around Rs 30 crore in pre-Series A round led by Credence Family Office and expanded to 13 co-working spaces in NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chandigarh.
- MAY 2019: OYO acquired Amsterdam-based vacation rental firm Leisure Group, which manages holiday homes in Europe. OYO Lite, a lighter version of the app, was introduced globally.
- JULY 2019: Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8 mentions, “Once you like a partner, you chase them, Ritesh and Aditya Ghosh, CEO—South Asia, OYO, became my constants and this acquisition is also a big part of our outcome of fostering relationships.
“I am excited to see the brands deliver engaging and creative workspaces for professionals and businesses across India.”Ritesh Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes2011Oravel
- JULY 2019: OYO acquired Innov8 Rs 200 crore approximately. With the acquisition, workspaces is all set to open the doors to its 21+ workspaces, with 15,000+ seats across 10+ cities in India.
(This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)