OYO is an online marketplace for finding hotels and places to stay for travelers. Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, OYO aggregates and standardizes services offered by budget hotels and hostels across India. OYO Hotels and Homes operates India's largest network of hotels.
When OYO started, they aimed to solve the problem of standardization of hotel and stay experiences in India. Hotels on OYO are measured in 30 ways, including free wifi, breakfast, flatscreen TVs, spotless white bed linen and threadcount, branded toiletries and shower quality.
In 2019, OYO expanded their services to include OYO Rooms, OYO Collection O, OYO Townhouse, OYO SilverKey, OYO Capital O, OYO Palette Resorts and OYO Life. They launched their services and properties into overseas markets, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, UK and Saudi Arabia. Their expansion included the United States, where they opened 112 hotels across 21 states and 60 cities by July 2019. Part of this expansion was a partnership with Highgate to open the OYO Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The casino is a rebranded Hooters Casino Hotel.
During this period of aggressive expansion, Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, proposed a buy back of $1.5 billion of shares from early investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed. OYO acquired Danamica, a Europe based machine learning and business intelligence company who specialize in dynamic pricing. OYO suggested Danamica would increase the accuracy of their pricing. The acquisition, and Agarwal's buy back, pushed OYO's late-2019 valuation to $10 billion.
In August 2015 OYO raised $100 million. SoftBank led the round, which saw participation from Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital.
OYO secured $250 million in April 2017. The round, led by Softbank, saw participation from other existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital and Sequoia Capital.
In September 2017, OYO raised $250 million through their Series D. Softbank led the round which included participation from Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital and Hero Enterprise.
OYO, in September 2017, secured a $10 million investment from China Lodging (formerly known as Huazhu Hotels).
In September 2018, OYO raised $1 billion in funding. The round was led by SoftBank. Grab, an initially unnamed investor in the round, invested $100 million into OYO. Another confirmed investor of $100 million was Chinese ride-hailing Didi Chuxing. Airbnb was another confirmed investor, at $75 million. This round placed OYO valuation at $4.3 billion.
Airbnb Eyes OYO, Indian Hotel Startup