Indian hotel chain Oyo continues global expansion spree, opens US office

Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal. Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg

Indian budget hotel chain Oyo, which is on a global expansion spree, is now headed towards the West.

Japan’s SoftBank-backed Oyo has reportedly opened an office in Dallas, and has started to renovate motels and no-frills hotels around Texas. Over the last 18 months, the company has already launched operations in multiple overseas locations including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia and the UAE.

“Its U.S. workforce has grown to 30, mostly in Dallas, and it is trying to hire dozens more each week,” The Information reported quoting a source. “If a test in Texas goes well, Oyo wants to add 2,000 hotels – including small, urban hotels – in dozens of states to its network this year,” the report said.

Another report in Skift said that Oyo is looking to hire a human resources director, a talent acquisition director, and several other managers and sales people. In the US, Oyo would be competing with the established budget chains including Best Western, Super 8 and Choice Hotels.

Gurugram-based unicorn startup Oyo has raised a total of $1.6 billion across multiple funding rounds till date, according to Crunchbase. It last raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding from Singapore ride-hailing company Grab to expand its services in Southeast Asia.

Oyo, run by Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, announced its Philippines foray last week. Oyo will begin facilities in Manila, Tagaytay and Cebu with 21 hotels and aims to expand to 10 cities by 2020. According to a PTI report, Oyo has earmarked over $100 million to expand to Indonesia over the next five years.

An October Mint report said that the Indian company is also looking to enter Japan, and is eyeing a dominant market in the hotel industry ahead of the 2020 Olympic games. In September, the company said it would enter the UK market with a plan to open properties in ten cities by the end of 2019.

Oyo counts China and India as two of its biggest markets.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that OYO‘s revenue for the fiscal year ended March 2018 came in at 4.16 billion rupees ($58 million), compared with 1.2 billion rupees ($16.7 million) a year earlier. The hotel chain operator’s losses widened marginally to 3.6 billion rupees from 3.55 billion rupees a year ago.