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It is an Indian hotel chain. It is one of the largest and fastest-growing hospitality chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces.[1][2][3][4] Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, OYO initially consisted mainly of budget hotels. The startup expanded globally with thousands of hotels, vacation homes and millions of rooms in hundreds of cities in India, Malaysia,[5] UAE, Nepal,[6] China, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Philippines, Japan,[7] Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka,[8] Indonesia, Vietnam, the United States[9] and more.[10][11]

The company's investors include SoftBank Group, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise, Airbnb and China Lodging Group.


In 2012, Ritesh Agarwal launched Oravel Stays to enable listing and booking of budget accommodations. After undertaking months of research and staying in various bed and breakfast homes, guest houses, and small hotels across India, he pivoted Oravel to OYO in 2013.[12]

OYO partners with hotels to give similar guest experience across cities. Shortly after launching Oravel Stays, Ritesh Agarwal received a grant of $100,000 as part of the Thiel Fellowship from Peter Thiel.[13][14] OYO currently has over 17,000 employees globally,[15][16] of which approximately 8000 are in India and South Asia. OYO Hotels & Homes now identifies as a full-fledged hotel chain that leases and franchises assets. The company claims to invest in capex,[17] GMs to oversee operations and customer experience as well as generating around a million job opportunities in India[18] and South Asia alone. OYO has also set up 26 training institutes for hospitality enthusiasts across India.[19]


The company is currently valued at $10 billion[20] as per the last round of funding.[21]

September 2018 – raised $1 billion, of which the RoC filing for the amount of $100 million raised from Star Virtue Investment Ltd. was made on 13 February 2019.[22]

October 2019 – Series F funding of $1.5 billion led by SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India.[23]

Founder & CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, through RA Hospitality Holdings (Cayman)[24][25] in 2019 signed a $2 billion primary and secondary management investment round, supported by global institutional banks and his financial partners, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Sequoia India, OYO's early supporters, are selling part of their holdings in order to help the founder increase his stake and thereby commitment while remaining invested significantly in the company's long-term mission.[26]

Financial results[edit]

In 2019, OYO reported 3.5x growth in revenue in FY 2017–18[27] at Rs 416cr for India operations and a marginal loss of 360 cr. In 2018, OYO reported a loss of 330.97 cr which was better than the previous year.[28]


In 2018, the hospitality chain company announced the appointment of Aditya Ghosh, the former president of India's largest airlines, IndiGo, as the chief executive officer of its South Asia business. Ghosh would be in charge of India and Nepal.[29]

In November 2018, OYO appointed Max Healthcare executive Director, and Rohit Kapoor as the CEO[30] of its new real estate businesses. In 2018, OYO hired Prasidha Menon as Global Head of Communications.[31]


In 2016, OYO announced the hire of Amazon India's Anil Goel as Chief Technical and Product Officer.[32]

COO OYO China[edit]

OYO hired former Pepsi China COO to head its China operations as chief operating officer.[33]

OYO UK[edit]

In September 2018, OYO hired Jeremy Sanders[34] who co-founded and sold Italian fast-food chain Coco di Mama as its country head.

In January 2020, OYO announced the appointment of Raj Kamal as COO of its Vacation Homes business in the UK and Europe.[35]

CEO OYO Technology and Hospitality Company, Japan[edit]

In February 2019, OYO started its Japan operations in a Joint Venture with Yahoo! Japan[36] and hired former Japan market leader for Handy and Booking.com, as the CEO of OYO Technology & Hospitality Company. Yahoo! has since sold its interest back to OYO as of December 2019.

CEO Southeast Asia and Middle East[edit]

In August 2019, OYO hired Dr Mandar Vaidya[37] – a medical doctor by education and former partner at McKinsey – to lead its operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Acquisitions and partnerships[edit]

In March 2018, OYO acquired Chennai-based service apartment operator Novascotia Boutique Homes[38][39] marking its first major buyout as well as establishing its presence in the service apartment and corporate executive stay.

In 2018, the company acquired Weddingz.in, a Mumbai-based online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors marking its entry into the fragmented $40 billion wedding industry.[40]

In April 2019, OYO announced a strategic global distribution partnership with bedbank Hotelbeds.[41] The company also announced two joint-venture with Softbank and Yahoo!Japan.

In 2019, OYO and Airbnb announced a strategic partnership with Airbnb investing in OYO and the company will list their properties on Airbnb platform.[42] OYO in March 2019, announced a 1400 cr investment in its India and South Asia businesses over 2019 as a part of its efforts to increase infrastructure, strengthen technology and internal capability.[43]

In May 2019, OYO announced the acquisition of Amsterdam-based @Leisure Group, Europe's largest vacation rental company.[44]

In July 2019, OYO announced the acquisition of Innov8.[45]

In August 2019, Oyo made its first major investment in the United States by purchasing the Hooters Casino Hotel, near the Las Vegas Strip, in partnership with US-based real estate company Highgate, for $135 million.[46][47]

Products and services[edit]

OYO Rooms, OYO Hotels & Homes has a multi-brand approach. These include:

  • OYO Townhouse[48] which is promoted as the neighbourhood hotel is in the midscale segment targeted at millennial traveller aspiring premium economy accommodations.
  • OYO Home, which OYO claims is India's maiden Home Management System that offers private homes in different locations and are fully managed by OYO.[49][50]
  • OYO Vacation Homes which identifies itself as the world's 3rd largest vacation home brand with vacation rental management brands Belvilla,[51] Danland,[52] and DanCenter[53] along with Germany-based Traum-Ferienwohnungen.
  • SilverKey launched in April 2018, caters to the needs of the corporate travellers undertaking business trips for a short or long duration.[54][55]
  • Capital O are premium hotels located in prime locations and especially curated to deliver OYO's quality-assured experience at an affordable price.[56]
  • Palette offers the perfectly curated staycation for those in search of an intuitive experience at competitive prices, an upper-end leisure resorts category.[57][58]
  • Collection O is the newest category under OYO's hotel portfolio that caters to the requirements of discerning business travellers.[59][60]
  • OYO LIFE, targeted at millennials and young professionals in search of fully managed homes on long-term rentals, at affordable prices. This is a PG based model where you can take a room or share it with a friend without any restrictions[61][62]
  • OYO has grouped all its products into a single category, that is OYO Rooms and homes.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • In 2019 Agarwal was featured in the Bloomberg 50 list as ‘The Amazingly Ambitious Hotelier’,[63] the 50 most powerful people in India by India Today and the Tycoons of Tomorrow’ by Forbes India.[64]
  • His net worth in 2019 was estimated to be approximately $1 billion (7000 crore INR) according to IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List.[65]
  • Market Entrant of the Year 2019 (UK-India Awards)[66]
  • Fast Company's World's Most Innovative Companies for 2019 – India edition[67]
  • Best Startup – SATTE Awards 2019[68]
  • OYO topped the maiden list of LinkedIn's Top Startups in India (2018)[69]
  • LinkedIn has recognized OYO as one of the top employee attractors in India four years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)[70]
  • Fast Company: OYO among Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in India (2018)[71]
  • Startup of the Year at The Economic Times Startup Awards (2018)[72]
  • TiE's QGlue Design-led Entrepreneurship Awards (2018)[73]
  • Best Travel Startup – Jury at Zee Business Travel Awards (2018)[74]
  • India's Most Promising Hotel Network, HolidayIQ Better Holiday Awards 2017[75]
  • New Age Entrepreneur Award by Asian Centre for Corporate Governance & Sustainability (2016)[76]
  • OneDirect Quest CX Award for Best Use of Social Media (2016)[77]
  • No. 2 in BT Coolest Start-ups Survey 2016[78]
  • Startup of the Year- Express IT Award (2015)[79]
  • In March 2020, Ivanka Trump, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump, had lauded an initiative by OYO Hotels to offer free stays to doctors, nurses in the US helping in the fight against the novel coronavirus, describing the gesture as “impactful acts of benevolence”.[80]


Sharing of customer data with the government[edit]

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. This has been described as a threat to privacy.[81][82]

Use of predatory pricing[edit]

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.[83]

Sending of unsolicited emails[edit]

In 2018, the company sent mass unsolicited job offer emails targeting senior- and mid-level employees of competitors.[84]

Downsizing of OYO China[edit]

In March 2020, it was reported that OYO China will downsize and lay off up to 72% of its staff. [85]


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External links[edit]

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