OYO ROOMS AC­QUIRES RI­VAL ZO ROOMS

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In a sign of con­sol­i­da­tion in the branded rooms ag­gre­ga­tion space, Oyo Rooms has ac­quired ri­val Zo Rooms. Oyo’s lead in­vestor, Ja­panese tele­com and in­ter­net firm Soft­bank, in its an­nual re­port for 2015 has con­firmed the ac­qui­si­tion.

Since De­cem­ber, me­dia has been spec­u­lat­ing about an im­pend­ing deal. Zo has been strug­gling to raise funds af­ter its last round in Au­gust from Tiger Global and Orios Ven­ture Part­ners.

Zo has a net­work of 11,000 rooms in 1,000 ho­tels across more than 50 cities in In­dia. Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, co-founder & CEO of Zo Rooms, feigned ig­no­rance about the deal when TOI got in touch with him. Oyo ex­ec­u­tives were also not avail­able for com­ment.

Mar­ket leader Oyo, founded in 2012 by Ritesh Agar­wal when he was just 18, and which has raised $125 mil­lion from a host of in­vestors in­clud­ing Soft­bank, Se­quoia Cap­i­tal, Light­speed Ven­tures and DSG, will now have a mas­sive net­work of ho­tels — a scale that no tra­di­tional ho­tel group comes any­where close to. It has op­er­a­tions in 173 cities with more than 4,500 ho­tels of­fer­ing 40,000 rooms on the plat­form.

Zo Rooms, which had raised $47 mil­lion from its in­vestors, was run by Zos­tel Hos­pi­tal­ity, which pro­vides back­packer’s with hos­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion in sev­eral cities. There are still sev­eral oth­ers in the space, in­clud­ing Vista Rooms, ZipRoom and WudS­tay, that are cre­at­ing a net­work of branded ho­tels much like Taj, ITC, Hil­ton, Mar­riott and In­ter-Con­ti­nen­tal did decades ago in the pre­mium seg­ment.

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