Over the past couple of years, several consumer-driven Internet companies have been exploring overseas market. While a clutch of companies including Zomato, Practo, and CarDekho have expanded their offerings in overseas markets, SoftBank-backed Ola and Oyo appear aggressive in such expansion.
After testing Bangladesh and Australia, Ola is in talks with local stakeholders for having a presence in London. Similarly, Oyo has been contemplating to enter Indonesia, the UK, and other European countries.
The hotel brand already has operations in China, Malaysia, Nepal, and Dubai. Besides, it also hired Manu Midha to spearhead its operations in Dubai and the Middle East.
After raking in about $250 million from SoftBank and Hero Enterprise, Oyo had pivoted from aggregation to a pure-play franchise model in December last year.
Presently, the company claims to have a capacity of 100,000 rooms in more than 230 cities in India. It also aims to increase this to 1,80,000 by the end of this year.
Launched in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo has so far secured about $442 million from the likes of Softbank and China Lodging Group. Importantly, the Ritesh Agarwal-led company is said to be negotiating a staggering fresh round that can go up to $800 million.
To cater the premium mid-market segment (especially business travellers), the company floated a separate brand – Oyo Townhouse – in April last year.
Meanwhile, sensing a big opportunity in co-living space, the Gurugram-based company had recently forayed into co-living space with ‘Oyo Living’. Entrackr had exclusively reported about the co-living vertical which plans operations in 5 cities including Bengaluru, NCR, and Pune.
Looking at Oyo’s appetite for expansion into overseas markets, it seems the company eyes significant opportunities in countries where affordable budget hotel stays has a tremendous scope. While we are sceptical about the performance of indigenous startups in their overseas operations, the aspirations of Indian consumer products have certainly gone up.
In the near future, it would be exciting to watch how Oyo scales up in the global arena.
The expansion of Oyo in the UK and across Europe was first reported by Mint.