SoftBank-backed OYO says has become second largest hotel chain in China

Ritesh Agarwal. Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg

Indian hospitality company Oyo Hotels & Homes (OYO) on Wednesday announced that it has become the second-largest hotel group in China within 18 months of its foray into the country.

The company has expanded its presence to nearly 10,000 OYO-branded hotels and 450,000 rooms across 320 cities in China.

“With tier-II cities at its core, OYO extends deep into China’s tier-II to tier-VI cities,” the company said in a statement.

Globally, OYO has a footprint in more than 800 cities across 24 countries, including Malaysia, Nepal, the UK, UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and more recently, Japan. It counts India and China as two of its biggest markets.

Sam Shih, COO of OYO China, said, “OYO Jiudian (Hotels) operates like a Chinese company and delivers better living for middle-income people across the country. Every day, over 200,000 heads are on OYO Jiudian pillows in China due to the great experience at low cost.”

“Today, we are less than 2% of the country’s accommodation market that stands at ~35 million rooms,” Shih said.

OYO Hotels is also exploring ways to collaborate with online travel agents (OTAs) such as Fliggy, Ctrip and others, along with other consumer traffic-building platforms, the company said. As of now, OYO gets 25 per cent of bookings from OTAs in China.

The company recently announced a strategic partnership with Alipay. The two companies aim to cooperate in areas such as membership, traffic exchange, scenario integration, finance services, smart payment, credit life, and hotel upgrades.

Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial Services, said, “The launch of OYO Hotel miniprogram in Alipay is yet another success. Miniprogram is one of the most important strategies for Alipay for the next three years. With miniMP, Alipay can empower industries and ecosystems better and help store owners realise digital transformation and all-scenario marketing.”

OYO is backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Hero Enterprise, and China Lodging Group.

Last month, OYO raised about $75 million in a Series E funding round from San Francisco-headquartered home renting firm Airbnb. While it is still unclear if the Series E funding round is now closed, Gurugram-based OYO has reportedly mopped up nearly $1.2 billion in fresh capital in this round, which began in September last year.

In February, it reportedly raised $100 million from China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. In December, it raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding from Singapore ride-hailing company Grab to expand its services in Southeast Asia.

In September last year, OYO garnered $800 million from investors led by Softbank Vision Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Greenoaks Capital.