This Indian startup just closed a $1.2 billion Series E round, backed by Didi and Grab


Chinese ridesharing giant and Uber rival Didi Chuxing has reportedly invested $100 million into Indian hotel room platform Oyo, bringing a close to Oyo’s Series E round at a whopping $1.2 billion ($1.68 billion).

Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo is a hotel network offering standardised services, amenities and experiences, using apps for everything from inventory and revenue management, room service and maintaining customer relationships.

To date, the booking app has seen more than 10 million downloads.

The latest funding round is led by SoftBank, which, according to a report in Economic Times, contributed US$800 million ($1.12 billion).

Grab, a Singapore-based ride-sharing startup that also counts Didi among its investors, has in turn also invested just over US$100 million ($139 million) in Oyo’s gargantuan funding round.

The round means Oyo now has a valuation of $5 billion.

According to Economic Times, Oyo has projected a three-fold increase in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year. However, the report suggests the startup is still operating at a net loss.

Chinese ridesharing giant Didi has had a strategic marketing and branding partnership in place since 2017, when Didi entered the Indian market. According to the Economic Times article, this partnership may well deepen as Oyo cements its position in the Chinese marketplace.

Oyo is currently present in China, South East Asia and China. While it does not currently appear to have plans to expand to Australia, a $1 billion raise may well mean this Indian startup could have world domination on its mind.

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