Treebo Hotels - Putting Dignity Back Into Budget Travel

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Dec 26, 2020 8 min read
Treebo Hotels - Putting Dignity Back Into Budget Travel

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

Indian hotel landscape was dominated by luxury five-star hotels for a very long time. There was a large vacuum in terms of quality accommodation between large five-star hotels and the way-side guest houses. The last one decade saw the rise of many budget and economy hotels in the country.  More than 80 per cent of the growth in new hotels were in the budget segment.

Staying at low-priced hotels has always meant making compromises on quality. One could book online but could hardly avoid the unwelcoming rooms and the indifferent service. Well, at Treebo, dignity is being put back into budget travel with their unmatched 100% quality guarantee.

Treebo Hotels is an Indian budget hotel chain that operates on franchising. As of January 2020, Treebo Hotel has over 600 hotels in 113 cities in India.

Treebo - Company Highlights

Startup Name Treebo Hotels
Formerly Zipotel
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Industry Hotels and Resorts
Founded June 2015
Founders Sidharth Gupta(CEO), Rahul Chaudhary, Kadam Jeet Jain.
Area Served India
Website www.treebo.com

Treebo - About and How it Works?
Treebo - Logo and its Meaning
Treebo - Founder and History
Treebo - Mission
Treebo - Recent News
Treebo - Business Model
Treebo - Revenue and Growth
Treebo - Funding and Investors
Treebo - Acquisitions
Treebo - Competitors
Treebo - Challenges Faced
Treebo - Future Plans
Treebo - FAQs

Treebo - About and How it Works?

Founded in 2015, Treebo is a new age hotel brand offering comfortable stays at budget prices.

Treebo derives its name from “Bo Tree”, the fig tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. The fig tree family - Banyan, Peepul among others - has inspired not just the company's name but also what they do. They aspire to emulate the vast reach of the fig trees.

Starting with Bangalore, they make sure that they are available to serve guests wherever their travels take them, with the same obsession for quality, with the same penchant for conversations.

Treebo Hotels is an operator of a hotel room-booking platform designed to book hotels and restaurants. The company's hotel booking platform works on a full inventory model of selecting hotel properties, prescribing quality standards, and providing staff training for hotel operators, providing users with information on both budget and premium hotels in India.

Treebo - Logo and its Meaning

Treebo's new logo represents a pinwheel. It represents the colourful and childlike spirit of wonder that accompanies travel. Through its movement, it creates a sense of joy that puts a smile on everyone's face irrespective of age, occupation, and income.

Treebo's Company Logo
Treebo's Company Logo

Treebo - Founder and History

Treebo Hotels was founded in June 2015 as Zipotel by the IIT Roorkee graduates Sidharth Gupta, Rahul Chaudhary and Kadam Jeet Jain.

Founders of Treebo Hotels
Founders of Treebo Hotels

It’s been just over two years since the company’s founding, and Treebo is already India’s highest rated and third largest hotel brand in India (behind only Taj and ITC). While it’s still early days and there is a long way to go, the company is well on it’s path to create India’s largest and most loved hotel brand, leveraged by technology.

In July 2016, Treebo raised a $17 million round of investment. In August 2017, Treebo raised an additional investment round of $34 million. As of now, Treebo has raised $57 million and is backed by SAIF Partners and Matrix India Partners as investors. In May 2018, Treebo made its first acquisition of the online events discovery platform Events High.

In November 2018, Treebo launched three sub-brands (Trip, Trend, Tryst) as part of its new branding strategy. Treebo Trip Hotels offer basic comforts. Treebo Trend Hotels are the major chunk of properties. Treebo Tryst Hotels are the premium Treebo properties.


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Treebo - Mission

Treebo started with a simple question — how do you put dignity back into budget travel? The company’s mission is to answer this question - so every idea, every property they on-board, every hire, every strategic decision, every trade-off they make is put through this lens to see if it helps them answer this question a little better each day.

Treebo - Recent News

  • Treebo Hotels raises Rs 10 crore from angel investors
  • OYO Accused Of Listing Treebo Hotels Without Clearances

Treebo - Business Model

Treebo operates a full franchise model which means it takes on hotels exclusively, working with hotel owners to provide its branding, customer acquisition channels, management software and more. In exchange, it takes a revenue cut that can be as high as 40 percent.

While coming up with a sustainable solution, the founders were very clear that they were here to build a brand and not an aggregator or a marketplace or an OTA. And, this will take time.

“Our value proposition and business models didn’t shift even with hyper competition and the so-called lull that everyone was focused on. The number of properties working with us has increased by 100 percent. We have gone from 413 to 820 properties in a year," said Sidharth Gupta, co-founder of Treebo.

Treebo - Revenue and Growth

Treebo reported revenue of Rs 77 crore for financial year 2018-19, a 63% jump from the previous year, from Rs 41.35 crore in 2018. It also generated Rs 9.5 crore from the gain on sale of current investments, lease rental income, among others.


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Treebo - Funding and Investors

Treebo Hotels has raised a total of $69.2M in funding over 9 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Oct 27, 2020 from a Venture - Series Unknown round.
Treebo Hotels is funded by 16 investors. Shantanu Deshpande and Vijay Shekhar Sharma are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Oct 27, 2020 Venture Round ₹100M Deepak Parayanken
Oct 8, 2020 Venture Round ₹6M -
Jul 31, 2020 Series D ₹102.6M -
Jul 11, 2020 Series D ₹225M -
Jan 2, 2020 Corporate Round $458K Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd
May 14, 2019 Venture Round - InnoVen Capital
Aug 30, 2017 Series C $34M Karst Peak Capital, Ward Ferry Management
Jul 22, 2016 Series B $17M Bertelsmann India Investments
Jun 23, 2015 Series A $6M Matrix Partners India, SAIF Partners

Treebo - Acquisitions

Treebo Hotels has acquired Events High on May 31, 2018.

Treebo - Competitors

Treebo's top competitors include OYO Rooms, Yatra, Fabhotels, ClearTrip and MakeMyTrip.

Treebo - Challenges Faced

“We are building the Mc Donald’s of the hospitality industry, where until now the budget segment was only dominated by the standalone very similar to the F&B market back in the 90s,” said Sidharth Gupta, Co-Founder, Treebo Hotels.

According to Siddharth, only three things can have competitive advantage i.e., if one is in a network business if one is having proprietary assets and the execution DNA of the organization. “At Treebo we believe in ‘six months head start’ which means in a competitive market as such, we stay six months ahead,” he said.

In a traditional setup, where failure is always looked down upon, Treebo rewards the failure because “unless you don’t fail, you don’t learn,” believes Sidharth. “At Treebo we have two values, ‘obligation to invent’ and ‘display urgency’. Combining the both, we encourage our colleagues to try out an idea even if it gives 70 percent of surety,” he stated.

Today, Treebo has 7000+ keys, in 300+ properties across 50+ cities. Their benchmark Hotel and Guest NPS is consistently >60%. And the founders have done this while being capital efficient with a focus on profitable-growth with take rates between 20–25%.

That’s not to say, that they haven’t had their share of problems, with near death experiences on more than one occasion. But this has only strengthened the founders’ resolve.

Sidharth says, "There’s a lot to be done and several things yet to be improved. But it gives me great satisfaction that the entire Treebo team works relentlessly every day to answer one simple question - how do you put dignity back into budget travel?"

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Treebo - Future Plans

Treebo plans to double the number of hotels registered on its platform.

“The segment (homestay) has the potential to become large and exciting over the next two to three years. It’s very big in the markets outside India,” said Gupta, pointing out with India’s travel and accommodation market getting more professionalized with the technology, homestays are a natural progression in line with the global trend. The trend in India, however, may not be as linear as other markets and it may “leapfrog” a few stages.

Gupta said hotels would continue to be Treebo's core focus area and homestays would become large over a period of time. “We will launch some pilots by year-end. Like our hotels, the homestays, too, would be based on the premise of quality,” he said.

Treebo - FAQs

Who founded Treebo?

Treebo Hotels was founded in June 2015 as Zipotel by the IIT Roorkee graduates Sidharth Gupta, Rahul Chaudhary and Kadam Jeet Jain.

When was Treebo founded?

Treebo Hotels was founded in June 2015.

How does Treebo make money?

Treebo operates a full franchise model which means it takes on hotels exclusively, working with hotel owners to provide its branding, customer acquisition channels, management software and more. In exchange, it takes a revenue cut that can be as high as 40 percent.

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