As the company gears up for its bumper initial public offering (IPO), Airbnb is leaving no stone unturned in order to expand quickly and gets its footprint on some of the bigger players in local markets, who are in the same line of business. In a fresh development, the American hospitality services company has confirmed that it is going to invest in Indian budget hotel and homestay start-up Oyo Rooms. This announcement comes a month after Airbnb acquired HotelTonight and it seems that the San Francisco-based company has finally set its sights on one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Airbnb has been trying to gain a toehold in the Asian market for years and talks about this deal had been going on for a few months. Although the deal has been announced on April Fool’s Day, it is believed that the announcement is not a hoax. Oyo Rooms is one of India’s fast-growing startups and the leading player in the hospitality marketplace space. It is backed by SoftBank and Airbnb’s investment in the company is a part of the Series E funding for the Indian startup.
In addition to the investment, it is believed that the investment is part of a larger strategic goal for both companies. Homes, budget hotels and villas that are listed on Oyo will now be visible on Airbnb and in theory, it should work perfectly for both companies. Oyo has listings from not only India but also Dubai, and in total there are 10000 of those, which will not be available on Airbnb platform. The head of homes at the American company, Greg Greeley stated that Airbnb believes that its growth is eventually going to be driven by fast-growing markets like China and India. He said, “Emerging markets like India and China are some of Airbnb’s fastest-growing, with our growth increasingly powered by tourism to and from these markets.”
As far as Oyo is concerned, the company has itself made moves into new markets recently and is now available in places like China and the United States as well. According to the global chief of strategy Maninder Gulati, the Airbnb deal will help the company is establishing its presence in new markets. He said,
“Airbnb’s strong global footprint and access to local communities will open up new opportunities for OYO Hotels & Homes.”