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OYO Rooms is a website for booking budget lodging. It is owned by Oravel Stays Private Limited and is based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. It is the largest such website in India.[1][2]

Oravel Stays Private Limited
Privately held company
IndustryHospitality
Founded2013; 6 years ago (2013)
FounderRitesh Agarwal
HeadquartersGurgaon, Haryana, India
Area served
Asia and Europe
Key people
Aditya Ghosh, CEO
Websitewww.oyorooms.com

It has 450,000 listings in 500 cities in India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.[3][4]

The company also operates OYO Home, an Airbnb-like marketplace for short-term managed rentals.

Contents

HistoryEdit

In 2012, then 18-year-old Ritesh Agarwal, from Odisha's Rayagada district, launched Oravel Stays, a website for listing and booking budget lodging. After three months of research and staying in over 100 bed and breakfast homes, guest houses, and small hotels, he pivoted Oravel to OYO in 2013.[5]

Shortly after launching Oravel Stays, Ritesh Agarwal received a grant of $100,000 as part of the Thiel Fellowship from Peter Thiel.[6][7]

In January 2016, the company launched operations in Malaysia.[8]

In April 2017, the company launched operations in Nepal.[9]

In late 2017, OYO launched OYO Home, an Airbnb-like marketplace for short-term managed rentals. OYO Home has presence in more than 10 leisure destinations of India including Goa, Shimla, Pondicherry, Udaipur, Kerala etc. In April 2018, OYO launched its first international OYO Home in Dubai.[10][11]

In March 2018, Oyo acquired Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes with adviser as ANOVA Corporate services.[12][13]

In October 2018, the company launched operations in Indonesia.[14]

In May 2019, Oyo announced that it would acquire Amsterdam-based vacation rental business @Leisure Group for €369.5 million.[15][16][17]

FinancingEdit

In March 2015, OYO raised Series A round of funding $24 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Greenoaks Capital and DSG Consumer Partners.[18] In August 2015, OYO raised another $100 million from SoftBank Group, an existing investor.[19]

In August 2016, OYO raised $90 million from Softbank Group, Innoven Capital and existing investors.[20]

In September 2017, OYO closed a $250 million series D round of funding led by Softbank Group, new investor Hero Enterprises led by Sunil Kant Munjal, Sequoia Capital, Greenoaks Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.[21]

China Lodging invested $10 million in OYO in September 2017.[22]

In September 2018, OYO raised $1 billion at a $5 billion valuation, including $800 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Lightspeed, Sequoia Capital, and Greenoaks Capital and $100 million from DiDi.[23][24][25]

ControversiesEdit

Sharing of customer data with the governmentEdit

In 2019, OYO rooms plans to implement a digital register mechanism which will allow it to share customer data in real time with the government. OYO is more popular among unmarried couples than families, thus this move really imposes a threat to privacy.[26][27]

Sexual harassment claimEdit

In September 2018, a sexual harassment claim was made by a US citizen that booked lodging via the company. She had allegedly claimed that she was provided unsafe lodging by OYO in Delhi where she was harassed. However, OYO maintained that a few incidents are insignificant compared to millions of check-ins and the company tries to remedy any problem.[28][29]

Use of predatory pricingEdit

OYO has been accused of using predatory pricing and not following its own agreements including threatening hotels to unilaterally change some of the clauses or not be paid.[30]

Sending of unsolicited emailsEdit

In 2018, the company sent mass unsolicited job offer emails targeting senior- and mid-level employees of competitors.[31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "OYO bets on large hotel portfolio, adds 12th 100 room hotel". Business Standard. April 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Raghunathan, Anu (August 1, 2016). "Ritesh Agarwal Creates India's Largest Branded Network Of Budget Hotels With Oyo". Forbes.
  3. ^ CHAUDHARY, DEEPTI (March 2, 2018). "More room at the top". Fortune.
  4. ^ Jog, Natasha (August 6, 2015). "At 21, He's the Mind Behind Multi-Million Dollar Start-Up OYO". NDTV.
  5. ^ CHATTERJEE, PARAMITA (May 16, 2017). "How OYO's Ritesh Agarwal transformed the business of budget accommodation". Forbes.
  6. ^ "Oravel founder Ritesh Agarwal wins Thiel Fellowship". Mint. May 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Ghosh, Shona (September 22, 2018). "Ritesh Agarwal: Interview with founder of Peter Thiel-backed Oyo". Business Insider.
  8. ^ Mishra, Aparna (12 January 2016). "OYO Rooms Goes International; Launches In Malaysia". Inc42.
  9. ^ "OYO expands international presence with hotel launch in Nepal". Business Standard. April 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Bhattacharya, Ananya (September 21, 2017). "In trying to be the Indian Airbnb, OYO may be turning too cumbersome". Quartz Media.
  11. ^ "Unlocking Homes for Great Holiday Experiences". OYO Rooms. September 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Gooptu, Biswarup (Mar 18, 2018). "OYO acquires Chennai's Novascotia Boutique Homes". The Economic Times.
  13. ^ "Oyo acquires Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes to expand corporate offering". The News Minute. 19 March 2018.
  14. ^ Chaturvedi, Anumeha (October 18, 2018). "OYO Hotels enters Indonesia". The Times of India.
  15. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (1 May 2019). "Indian hotel startup OYO is making a big move into Europe". CNN.
  16. ^ "India's Oyo hotel chain expands in Europe". BBC News. 2 May 2019.
  17. ^ Mundy, Simon (1 May 2019). "India's Oyo hotel chain buys @Leisure for €369m". Financial Times.
  18. ^ Rai, Anand (March 25, 2015). "Oyo Rooms, raises $25M funding from Lightspeed, Sequoia, others". Tech Circle.
  19. ^ Chakraborty, Sayan (3 August 2015). "Oyo Rooms raises $100 million from Softbank, others". Mint.
  20. ^ Sharma, Samidha (August 16, 2016). "Oyo Rooms closing $90million round in two tranches led by SoftBank". Times of India.
  21. ^ Gooptu, Biswarup (September 7, 2017). "OYO secures $250M funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund and Hero Enterprise". The Economic Times.
  22. ^ Russell, Jon (September 12, 2017). "OYO snags $10M strategic investment from hotel giant China Lodging". TechCrunch.
  23. ^ Shah, Aditi (September 25, 2018). "Indian hotel chain OYO to raise $1 billion from Softbank, others". Reuters.
  24. ^ "SoftBank, others book a $5-billion room for OYO at unicorn club". The Economic Times. September 26, 2018.
  25. ^ Gooptu, Biswarup; Sharma, Samidha (February 14, 2019). "Oyo gets $100M from China's Didi Chuxing". The Economic Times.
  26. ^ "Oyo Rooms wants to share digital record of your check-ins with government". India Today. January 15, 2019.
  27. ^ "Oyorooms with new concept of data sharing with government authorities". Indian people times. January 16, 2019.
  28. ^ "American's video claims harassment in Delhi hotel". The Times of India. September 13, 2018.
  29. ^ Mukherjee, Raka (September 13, 2018). "US Travel Blogger Recounts Horror Story About Being Stalked, Harassed and Trapped in Delhi OYO Room". News18 India.
  30. ^ Chaturvedi, Anumeha (December 1, 2018). "Budget hotels teaming up to take legal route against Oyo". The Economic Times.
  31. ^ S.H., Salman (April 27, 2018). "All's fair in talent war: Oyo targets staff at rivals". Mint.