Oyo Rooms to invest $50 million in Philippines

  • Oyo has beefed up leadership teams globally with C-suite hires for China, and country heads for UK and Malaysia
  • Oyo has, over the past 12-to-18 months, launched operations in many countries, including Nepal, UK and Indonesia

Unicorn startup Oyo Rooms plans to invest $50 million over time as it forays into the Philippines, after launching in other South Asian markets, including Indonesia and Malaysia, the company said in a statement.

Oyo has launched operations in multiple countries, including Nepal, the United Kingdom, the UAE and Indonesia over the last 18 months. The company counts China and India as two of its biggest markets.

Oyo, run by Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, is also set to begin operations in Japan and is eyeing a dominant market in the hotel industry ahead of the 2020 Olympic games, Mint had reported in October.

The Gurugram-based company has been on an expansion spree after it received $1 billion in funding from Japan's SoftBank Vision Fund last September. The investment has given Oyo the necessary firepower to foray into international markets at a rapid pace.

"We believe that by setting foot in the Philippines, we are advancing our vision of strengthening our foothold in Southeast Asia," said Abhinav Sinha, chief operating officer at Oyo. "Our growth in the country will be fueled by a strong local leadership and a team of young hospitality enthusiasts."

Oyo will begin facilities in Manila, Tagaytay and Cebu with 21 hotels and aims to expand to 10 cities by 2020. The five-year-old company has also appointed Ankit Arya as country head for Oyo hotels in the Philippines.

The startup has beefed up its international leadership with C-Suite hires for the China market and country heads for the UK and Malaysia.

In addition, Oyo has earmarked over $100 million to expand to Indonesia over the next five years, according to a PTI report.

Oyo will look at both the franchise and lease models in the Philippines, according to the company.

The Philippines offers an attractive market with a sizeable internet and mobile presence, according to Arya. Oyo will face competition from local and international players in that country. RedDoorz, an Indonesia-based startup, launched operations in the Philippines in July 2018, its third Southeast Asian market after Singapore and Indonesia, according to The Manila Times. RedDoorz is backed by the World Bank Group’s private investment arm International Finance Corporation, InnoVen Capital and Asia Investment Fund among others.

Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo began as a marketplace and today controls room inventory and its own brand called Townhouse. 

Oyo is among the few startups that have created a global brand. Others such as Zomato, Ola, and Practo have also experimented with international markets in recent times.

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