Ahead of its IPO, Airbnb makes big investment in Indian unicorn

Deal with OYO is rumored to be between $150M to $200M
April 01, 2019 10:00AM

OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal and Airbnb’s president of Homes Greg Greeley with a map of India (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, and Yo! Success)

Airbnb has confirmed that it has invested in OYO, an Indian company that manages budget hotels, as it prepares for a highly-anticipated IPO.

Neither company would confirm the size of Airbnb’s investment, but it is rumored to be between $150 million and $200 million, according to TechCrunch. OYO, which stands for “On Your Own,” has now raised more than $1.5 billion from investors.

The deal should help Airbnb increase its presence in India, which it has been trying to do for a long time. The exposure could also help OYO find more of an audience in the overseas travel market. It has so far mostly been popular with local travelers.

OYO has also been gaining a strong foothold in China, which is appealing to Airbnb as well.

Airbnb, which is valued at about $31 billion, said it has been profitable for the past two years and cited the third quarter of 2018 as its strongest ever.

Airbnb’s president of Homes Greg Greeley told TechCrunch in a statement that India and China were some of the fastest growing markets for Airbnb.

“In many of these markets, OYO is empowering local hospitality entrepreneurs to provide more options to more travelers,” he said. “We share a dedication to offering people more choices when traveling, and we’re excited to partner with OYO as we work to make Airbnb for everyone.”

In early March, Airbnb struck a deal to acquire HotelTonight, which was valued at $465 million. [TechCrunch] – Eddie Small