On the heels of its HotelTonight acquisition, Airbnb is reportedly in talks to invest around US$100-200 million in SoftBank-backed Indian hotel chain Oyo.
The acquisition is seen as a move by Airbnb to get a share of the hotel-booking business ahead of its planned IPO. Airbnb had also acquired French property management startup Luckey Homes last December, in addition to picking up a minority stake in co-working space startup The Wing.
According to reports, the investment is to help Airbnb to meet its growth goals in India and China.
Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief strategy officer had earlier said that Airbnb sees robust growth in India, especially in the domestic market, referring to this as “the future opportunity”.
Oyo is currently in 259 Indian cities with 8,700 buildings and 173,000 rooms. Globally, it is present in more than 500 cities and 10 countries – India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, the UK, UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Japan. India and China make up two of Oyo’s biggest markets.
If the talks materialise, Airbnb would join other investors in Oyo – SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and Grab, which contributed to a combined US$1.5 billion in funding for the Indian company – bringing it to a valuation of around US$5 billion. Last month, Oyo reportedly raised US$100 million from China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. In December, it raised the same amount in a Series E round of funding from Grab.