With a total funding of $185 million, OYO has presence across 223 cities in India and has enabled over two million check-ins so far. “We are utilizing analytics and data science to identify the right demand and predict the next best action for each user to enhance their experience,” says Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, OYO Rooms. Country’s popular hotel room aggregator is using innovative technologies to boost customer experience and sees huge business opportunity with increasing mobile internet users.
By Ankush Kumar
From a single hotel in May 2013 to over 6500 plus hotels at present, OYO’s journey has been inspirational. Offering standardized stay experiences at an unmatched price, OYO is spread across 223 cities in all major metros, regional commercial hubs, leisure destinations, and key pilgrimage towns. “We have revolutionized the legacy-driven hospitality space in India by standardizing the in-room experience and delivering predictable, affordable and available budget-room accommodation to millions of travelers in India,” says Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, OYO Rooms.
Hailing from a small town in Odisha and armed with an entrepreneurial streak, Ritesh started traveling across India when he was 17 and stayed in more than 100 bed and breakfasts, guest houses and hotels with an intent to list them and make them more discoverable. Very soon he realized the pressing need for an overhaul of the budget hospitality industry – by introduction of predictability, standardization and affordability.
A booking with OYO comes with the promise of a comfortable stay supported by an air-conditioned room, flat screen television, complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and 24×7 service support. Guests can use the OYO app (over five million downloads so far) to search and book rooms, request room-service (food, beverages and laundry), book a cab and also search nearby restaurants.
OYO uses technology to link all its functions and provide the customer a seamless experience. Guests can book their desired hotel in just three taps, in a matter of five seconds. Tech innovation and operational excellence are our key pillars of the ongoing efforts to offer a predictable, standardized hospitality experience asserts Agarwal.“We are also utilizing analytics and data science to identify the right demand and predict the next best action for each user to enhance their experience. Data science drives engagement and strategy for various functions including customer experience, owner engagement, sales and technology.”
Talking about the opportunities that has not been unearthed in the hospitality space, Agarwal informs that according to a HVS report, almost two million Indian rooms are in “unbranded” hotels, compared with 112,000 in “branded” ones. Only about two percent of this has been tapped so far. So there is plenty of head-room for growth. “As the travel industry grows, and with ever increasing penetration of mobile internet, we expect more customers to experience the value of booking with OYO.”
Funded by Lightspeed, Sequoia Capital, Greenoaks Capital, SoftBank Group, Oyo has received a total funding of $185 million so far.
Oyo’s vision is to standardize and build efficiency into all forms of real estate such as budget hotels, apartments, guesthouses and resorts. Since its inception, OYO has enabled over two million check-ins and has launched operations in Malaysia where it already has more than 250 hotels on its network. The company’s aim is to build the largest and the most trusted brand for out-of-home accommodation by becoming the go-to destination for every traveler – whether on bus, a train, or an airline, traveling intra-city or inter-city,and looking at short-term or long-term stay.
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