India: Hospitality startup Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal launches early-stage VC fund

Ritesh Agarwal. Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg

Hospitality startup Oyo’s founder Ritesh Agarwal has floated an early-stage venture capital fund named Aroa Ventures, which will focus on investments in growth-stage startups in consumer, technology, and leisure infrastructure sectors.

The fund also includes Gaurav Gulati, co-founder and ex- COO of Innov8 as a co-owner. Oyo had acquired co-working space provider Innov8 for $31 million in an all-cash deal in March, 2019.

Aro ventures will look to invest in startups with annual revenues of $500,000 to $1 million. The VC fund’s website indicates that the investment firm will have an average deal size between $1 million to $10 million.

With this, Agarwal will join a growing number of founder turned angel investors such as Sachin Bansal, Kunal Bahl, Kunal Shah, and Vijay Shekhar Sharma who have floated separate holding entities to invest and pick-up equity in startups.

The development was first reported by tech news portal Entrackr. According to filings accessed by the publication, Aroa Ventures was registered in 2019 in Singapore with Agarwal and Thomas Hufnagel as shareholders in the entity. Agarwal, however, owns 100% of Aroa Ventures.

Oyo did not respond to Mint’s queries until publishing time.

“Beyond capital, our team of serial entrepreneurs and experienced professionals work alongside portfolio companies to accelerate their growth and to deliver better risk-adjusted returns,” the Aroa Ventures website said.

In October last year, Oyo had raised $1.5 billion through RA Hospitality and Japan’s Softbank part of the hospitality startup’s Series F funding round.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.