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OYO adds another feather in its cap; on-boards SoftBank as partner-in-vision

By Swadha Mishra

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Entrepreneur India
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO Rooms

New Delhi-based Oravel Stays Private Limited owned and operated OYO Rooms, India's largest branded network of budget hotels, announced that it had raised $100 million in fresh round of funding led by Japan's SoftBank Group, with participation from existing investors, including Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed India. OYO plans to use the raised fund to implement new customer experience initiatives, build innovative technology products, and extend its domination in budget hotels space.

Commenting on the new partnership with SoftBank, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms, said, "We are excited to have global investors like SoftBank partner with us in our vision. Their experience in building innovative companies globally will bolster our efforts to grow into one of the world's most trusted hotel businesses." Agarwal is India's first graduate of the Thiel Fellowship Program started by Paypal founder Peter Thiel.

Launched in 2013, OYO is currently present in more than 70 cities, including Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Chennai, Kolkata and others with 12,000 plus available rooms. In India's highly fragmented hotel industry, OYO aims to empower unbranded hotels to increase revenues by providing access to technology, operational best practices and a national ecosystem of vendors and sales channels.

OYO's vision is to become the most preferred and trusted hotel brand for both customers as well as partner owners. Speaking on the same lines, Agarwal further said, "We are at the forefront of solving a problem of lack of predictability of experience across hotels in the country. Our vision is to provide a standardised experience - the OYO experience, to anyone, anywhere looking for a place to stay when not at home."

Hotel owners, who partner with OYO, see a significant increase in occupancy levels. For customers, who are looking for a place to stay, OYO offers a three-tap booking app, convenient payment channels, high quality reliable experience and services, and customer support.

Swadha Mishra

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