Setting a benchmark for the emerging startups in India, Oyo Hotels and Homes, a unicorn hospitality platform, has bagged $1.5 billion (approx INR 10,650 crore), its largest funding to date from founder Ritesh Agarwal and existing investor SoftBank, reported Livemint.
The funds will be utilized to expand its business in the US, which is its fastest-growing market, and bolster its vacation rentals business in Europe.
Notably, the fundraising is the largest for a unicorn in India since SoftBank invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart in 2017.
The SoftBank backed hospitality chain Oyo was started by Ritesh Agarwal in 2013. The startup was started from a single hotel to over 8500 hotels at present. It is the fastest growing network of hotels, offline and online.
Oyo said that the deal has valued the company’s valuation at $10 billion.
Agarwal’s capital infusion is part of his plan to triple his stake in Oyo by investing $2 billion to buy back shares from some of the company’s early investors.
“I am also happy to share that on a year-on-year basis, we have seen that not only are we operating profitably at the building level but at the same time, our Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) has also improved by 50% (on a year-on-year basis). We truly believe that we will be able to build a truly global brand out of India, while ensuring that the business is run efficiently and with a clear path to profitability,” said Ritesh Agarwal, founder at oyo and also Oyo’s global chief executive officer.
Its portfolio comprises more than 35,000 hotels and 125,000 vacation homes, and more than 1.2 million rooms.