24 year old Ritesh Agarwal’s solution to a backpacker’s ordeal of unpleasant surprises to horrors of the “budgeted” hotels is a booking app that promises clean, affordable and branded hotels. The youngest self-made entrepreneur, Ritesh Agarwal’s net worth is ₹2,600 crore as he made to the Barclays Hurun India Rich List 2018.
Earlier this week, the Hotel Aggregator managed to fetch a massive chunk of $1 billion from SoftBank, a Japanese VC firm. With the infusion of fresh round of funds, total valuation of the firm shot up to $5 billion. It has not only managed to outperform its rivals but has also surpassed the combined worth of biggies such as- Indian Hotels, who owns Taj Group of Hotels and EIH, owner of the Oberoi Hotels chain, valued at $2.05 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.
The second most valuable Indian startup, OYO has proved competent in the Indian market and aims to be the world’s largest hotel chain by 2023.OYO is the second most valuable startup after digital payment platform, Paytm.
“I am ecstatic for OYO as this is a massive moment for them and because of OYO, for the Indian startup ecosystem. The 6X markup to OYO’s previous round valuation vindicates our position that the best is yet to come—from OYO and from Indian startups,” said Anirudh Damani, an angel investor in OYO.
India’s latest unicorn, gears to expand its reach across international market after widely exploring its operations in China Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia and UK.
"At Oyo, we currently have 700 technology experts and engineers that have developed over 20 in-house products helping 10,000+ asset partners globally and making them better hospitality players," said Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo's founder and CEO.
“With another 2,020 experts joining us by 2020, we will continue to invest in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and [the Internet of Things] that will make curated guest experiences at every price point a reality,” Agarwal added.
The 19-year-old college drop-out realized a traveller's nightmares for an affordable place to crash in and decided to develop an Airbnb inspired online homestay service. Spotting a perfect hole in the then unorganized hotel market, which worth less than $7 billion, and founded OYO Rooms in 2013.