Home / Companies / News /  Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal launches early-stage VC fund

BENGALURU: 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.

In July, Paytm founder Sharma formed separate investment entities VSS Holdings Pvt Ltd and VSS Investco Pvt Ltd to directly invest in startups. Prior to this in September 2019, Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal also turned to angel investing through their VC firm Titan Capital.

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.

Agarwal’s new VC fund comes almost a year after the young founder increased his stakeholding in Oyo by setting up a fresh entity named RA Hospitality Holdings (Cayman). In July 2018, RA Hospitality received the competition commission (CCI) nod to merge with Oyo’s parent entities.

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.

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