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Why oyo rooms?

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Answer # 1 #

OYO Rooms (stylised as OYO), also known as OYO Hotels & Homes, is an Indian multinational hospitality chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes, and living spaces. Founded in 2012 by Ritesh Agarwal, OYO initially consisted mainly of budget hotels. As of January 2020, it has more than 43,000 properties and 10 lakh (1 million) rooms across 800 cities in 80 countries, including India, Malaysia, the UAE, Nepal, China, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Philippines, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United States.

The company's investors include SoftBank Group, Didi Chuxing, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise, Airbnb and China Lodging Group.

In 2012, Ritesh Agarwal launched Oravel Stays to enable listing and booking of budget accommodations; he renamed the firm to OYO in 2013. OYO partnered with hotels to give similar guest experience across cities. Shortly after launching Oravel Stays, Ritesh Agarwal received a grant of $100,000 as part of the Thiel Fellowship, a two-year program from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

In 2019, OYO had over 17,000 employees globally, of which approximately 8000 are in India and South Asia. OYO Hotels & Homes was a full-fledged hotel chain that leases and franchises assets. The company invests in capex, hires general managers to oversee operations and customer experience, and generates around a million job opportunities in India and South Asia alone. OYO set up 26 training institutes for hospitality enthusiasts across India in 2019.

In April 2019, the company announced the launch of OPEN programme, an initiative for its partner hotels to help them reach their business goals. It further Introduced an upgraded Co-OYO app for hotel partners to provide complete visibility on all business & customer metrics.

In June 2021, Oyo Rooms collaborated with Yatra, Airbnb, and EaseMyTrip to form the Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT), an industry body for the tourism sector of India.

In October 2021, OYO appointed paralympian Deepa Malik as an independent director on the company’s board of directors. In December 2021, OYO onboarded former State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar as its strategic group advisor.

In September 2018, OYO raised $1 billion, of which the RoC filing for the amount of $100 million raised from Star Virtue Investment Ltd. was made on 13 February 2019.

In February 2019, OYO received $100 million funding from the Chinese vehicle-for-hire company, Didi Chuxing.

In July 2019, Ritesh Agarwal, through RA Hospitality Holdings in Cayman Islands, signed a $2 billion deal to buy back shares from existing investors, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India, to increase his stake in the company to 30%. The company was valued at $10 billion with this deal.

In October 2019, OYO raised Series F funding of $1.5 billion led by SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India.

In July 2021, OYO closed a debt financing round of $660 million from global institutional investors to service existing loans.

In July 2021, Microsoft expressed interest to invest in OYO before its IPO and a multi-year strategic deal was signed in September 2021.

In October 2021, Oyo filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise US$1.2 billion through an initial public offering.

In January 2022, more than 500 current and former employees of OYO, purchased around 3 crore shares in the company. The total value of these shares can be approximated to about ₹330 crore (US$41 million), as per the last valuation of OYO of $9.6 billion.

In March 2016, OYO acquired the team of Qlik Pass, founded by Rahul Gupta and Rishi Swami, to setup and lead its data science department.

In March 2018, OYO acquired Chennai-based service apartment operator, Novascotia Boutique Homes, to establish its presence in the service apartment and corporate executive stay segment. It further acquired Weddingz.in, a Mumbai-based online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors, marking its entry into the fragmented $40-billion wedding industry.

In 2019, OYO and Airbnb announced a strategic partnership where OYO would list their properties in the Airbnb platform. In March 2019, OYO announced a 1400 crore investment in its India and South Asia businesses to increase infrastructure, strengthen technology and internal capability. In April 2019, OYO announced a strategic global distribution partnership with Hotelbeds.

The company also announced two joint-venture with Softbank and Yahoo! Japan in 2019.

In May 2019, OYO announced the acquisition of Amsterdam-based @Leisure Group, Europe's largest vacation rental company. In July 2019, OYO announced the acquisition of Innov8, a co-working space in New Delhi. In August 2019, Oyo made its first major investment in the United States by purchasing the Hooters Casino Hotel, near the Las Vegas Strip, in partnership with US-based real estate company Highgate, for $135 million. In May 2022 OYO announced the acquisition of Europe-based company 'Direct Booker' with the transaction valuing the latter at around USD 5.5 million (over Rs 40 crore). Direct Booker has over 3,200 homes and serviced 20 lakh customers so far, OYO said in a statement.

OYO Rooms has a multi-brand approach. These include:

In 2019, OYO planned to implement a digital register mechanism which will allow it to share customer data in real-time with the government. This was described as a threat to privacy.

OYO has been accused of using predatory pricing and not following its own agreements including threatening hotels to unilaterally change some of the clauses or not be paid.

In 2018, the company sent mass unsolicited job offer emails targeting senior- and mid-level employees of competitors.

In November 2015, Oyo signed a term sheet to acquire Zostel's Zo Rooms in an all-stock deal which would give Zostel's founders and investors a combined 7% stake in Oyo. In February 2016, Oyo's biggest stakeholder SoftBank announced in its earnings report that the acquisition was completed. However, in October 2017, Oyo stated that the deal was called-off and the "non-binding term sheet" for the deal had expired in September 2016. Zostel claimed that the term sheet was binding and it had transferred its business to Oyo which in turn failed to transfer the 7% stake. In 2018, Zostel approached the Supreme Court of India, which appointed former Chief Justice of India, A. M. Ahmadi as the sole arbitrator to resolve the dispute. In March 2021, Ahmadi ruled that the term sheet was binding and Zostel was entitled to execute the definitive agreements in the contract. In October 2021, Zostel wrote to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, seeking a stay on Oyo's IPO and claiming that Oyo's "capital structure is not final." In February 2022, the Delhi High Court rejected Zostel's appeal for a 7% stake in Oyo.

In April 2021, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) initiated an insolvency resolution process on OYO on the basis of a hotelier's petition over a monetary dispute with the company.

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Answer # 2 #

India’s largest budget hotel chain, OYO rooms is one of the most preferred hotel booking destinations for a vast majority of students in the country. The rise in popularity of OYO among students is attributed to the extremely flexible booking policies which accommodate special requests and needs of the young guests.

The hotel chain offers many benefits which include early check-ins, couple rooms, ID card flexibility and more. In addition there are OYO Rooms coupons for added discounts and offers on hotel stays.

Students love traveling in groups. The excitement of going on a tour with friends is incomparable to any. However, not every time do these trips go as smoothly as it is planned.

Restrictions placed on unmarried couples staying together can make things uncomfortable for students.

Well, not anymore!

OYO has got a simple solution for this – Couple Check-ins. Students have to simply install the OYO app on their smartphone, mention their marital status as single and then turn on the ‘Relationship Mode’.

This will make OYO list out all accommodations that are couple-friendly.

Students can then book any one of these stays and check-in as normal without any fuss!

Although there have been a lot of changes in the hotel accommodation industry, a few strict norms still do exist. One among them is the check-in at 11 am which has become more of a standard in the industry.

Most hotels refuse an earlier check-in, even after multiple requests. This is a real problem for students who travel during the night and look for immediate check-ins at hotels early in the morning.

To tackle this, OYO has come up with ‘Sunrise Check-in’ which enables check-in at hotels starting from 6 am in the morning.

Look out for the sunrise icon while booking hotels to make use of this feature from OYO. There are absolutely no extra fees for early check-ins.

Another major problem faced during hotel check-ins is the lack of proper ID proof. Students might not be carrying Aadhar card, Voter ID or PAN Card during checking in.

Now worry not!

Local ID proofs are accepted by OYO rooms. This can be any proof relating to the residential stay of the guests in the local town. ID card flexibility allows students to carry on their parties at hotels without having to worry about furnishing solid identification proofs.

Wi-Fi has become more of a necessity at stays. Students as they are, are hooked to mobile devices at all times and an instant Wi-Fi connection is always a welcome sign. Save the hassle of asking the hotel reservation for Wi-Fi router name, password and connecting to it manually.

OYO instant Wi-Fi works through the OYO app installed on the smartphone. Students can also get details of the Wi-Fi router which can give the best connection in their specific rooms.

OYO has hit a homerun with this new feature that perfectly fits students. OYO captains are kind of personal assistants who can be contacted anytime during one’s stay at OYO hotels. The OYO captain is equipped with knowledge of the local language and everything special about the local town/city.

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Bibi Tanko
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