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.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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. 
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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.