Saturday, July, 20, 2019 05:00:00

Online hospitality service firm Airbnb has reportedly invested in OYO, the Indian hotel reservation start-up’s series E funding round, as it plans to further consolidate its stance in the hotel booking business.

Neither of the companies have disclosed any details pertaining to the investment, which is backed by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the U.S. based Airbnb will pursue different ways to make the OYO accommodation available on its platform.

Through the investment Airbnb will gain access to a variety of franchised or leased hotels, enabling it to lure travelers who have been hesitant of the risks and oddities associated with renting a stranger’s home. Recently, the company even acquired HotelTonight, an app for searching hotel rooms at a discounted rate, targeting a variety of travelers ahead of an ardently awaited initial public offering, reported sources familiar with the development.

Greg Greeley, President of Homes at Airbnb said in a statement that developing markets like China and India are some of the firm’s fastest-growing avenues, with its growth increasingly driven by tourism to and from these markets.

Maninder Gulati, OYO Hotels & Home’s Global Chief Strategy Officer was quoted saying that Airbnb’s robust global footprints and contact with local communities will present new opportunities for the company.

For the record, OYO raised $1 billion last year from major investors including ride-hailing firm Grab and Japan’s SoftBank. Since then the company has been on an expansion mode with operations now in Dubai, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and more locations within India.

Over the next five years, the company expects its revenue to more than triple each year, as it expands nationwide and in international markets. It plans on investing $200 million in India and the South Asia market, a senior company executive stated.