Gurugram based Oyo, the budged hospitality startup has announced that it is planning to raise $1.5 billion in a fresh round of funding. The latest financing will help the firm get started with its aim of entering the U.S. and Europe. Ritesh Agarwal, the founder, and CEO of the firm says that he will be leading the round himself as he plans to infuse $700 million in the apparent Series F round by buying more shares in the firm from early backers of the firm.
SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India are the other backers who are set to participate in the round which will take the valuation of Oyo to $10 billion. The $1.5 billion capital infusion as per reports it is one of the highest funding in one go in an Indian startup.
Ritesh had recently expressed that he wants to have a major stake in the firm and hence he will continue to buy back shares as and when possible. He had revealed that he wants to buy shares worth $2 billion to strengthen his hold in the firm. Notable, once the money arrives, Oyo will be the country’s second most-valued startup after payment giant Paytm.
Oyo which launched operations in China has a presence in 338 cities with nearly 590,000 rooms. The firm has also launched operations in Indonesia, the UK, and a few cities in the US as well. It had recently acquired a Las Vegas-based Hooters Casino Hotel for $135 million.
It will be interesting to see how the firm utilizes the firm and it can challenge big players in the country.