Read about changing investment scenario in India’s travel startups
Many investors have increasingly shown interest in the travel-tech industry which is set to grow exponentially. Raising a $ 3 million Series A funding from VC firm Mangrove Capital Partners and others, WudStay Travels acquired its offline rival Awesome Stays in August 2015 to expand its network over new cities in India. However, it has now exited the budget hotel aggregation space to venture into PG and hostel accommodation business. On February 2016, Comfy Stays ventured into the short term budget accommodation category - budget hotel aggregator which partners with entry-level hotels, guest houses and a service apartments, which is said to constitute the choice of 60 to 70 % domestic travelers. It hopes to finalize a seed funding round of $ 4 to 5 million. On March 2016, budget hotel aggregator Room on Call raised $ 2 million in funding led by CASHurDRIVE Marketing. The funds would be utilized for marketing, scaling up operations and expanding its presence in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Touted as India`s largest homestay network, StayZilla has raised $ 34 million across four rounds of funding. In its last round, Matrix Partners and Nexus Ventures invested an additional $ 13.5 million in the budget hotels and homestays aggregator. However, like WudStay, StayZilla announced on February 2017 that it is halting its operations and rebooting in a different business model. On June 2016, Gurgaon-based Casa2 Stays, which runs FabHotels, raised $ 8 million in its Series A funding round from a consortium of investors including existing investors Accel Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. Its pure-tech driven franchisee model gives it better control over customer satisfaction and RevPAR (revenue per available room) than what OYO’s partial inventory model does. On July, 2016 Bengaluru-based Ruptub Solutions, which operates online budget hotels aggregator, Treebo Hotels raised Rs. 112 Crore in Series B funding round led by Bertelsmann India Investments. The company has launched Bumblebee, an app that helps hoteliers manage their day-to-day operations. It also launched a crowd-sourced mystery audit programme called Friends of Treebo, wherein registered members of this community stay at Treebo hotels for free and earn loads of rewards like free nights, vacations and vouchers in return for providing detailed feedback for the stay and experience. In one of the biggest deals in India’s consumer internet space, branded budget hotel marketplace, OYO Rooms closed a $ 250 million deal in a funding round in April 2017 led by its existing investor, SoftBank Group. In a significant all stock deal, OYO acquired ZO Rooms in 2016 where the latter raised a total of $ 45 million at the time of its acquisition.