Oyo on Wednesday announced that it has made its entry into London. In June this year, the Gurugram-based startup had ventured into China.
However, this is the company's first foray into a market outside Asia. With this launch, the team added that it plans to invest £40 million in the UK and will look to launch in 10 other cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Edinburgh by 2020.
It has started operations with four properties in London offering more than 80 rooms. The team plans to provide its customers a selection of over 5000 rooms in the next 15 to 18 months.
A press statement shared by the company said that OYO was welcomed in the UK, at a special event, in the presence of chief guests, honorable Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Y K Sinha and Craig Harrison, Director, Inward Investment at London & Partners.
In a press release shared by the company, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO Oyo added the UK has been the topmost international travel destination for several years and last year hosted over 19 million tourists from around the world. Driven by its booming domestic and international travel and budget hospitality needs, the UK presents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for OYO.
"We are thrilled to offer OYO’s affordable, hassle-free and quality living experiences to guests across the UK. - and to be empowering the UK independent hoteliers with the technology and operational expertise that helps them focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes," he said.
At the time of entry, OYO will offer guests the OYO Townhouse experience. These properties will be operated under models of manchise, lease with full inventory control similar to other markets like India and China. These hotels will provide affordable and trusted living options for both Indian and International tourists, business travelers, and local city-dwellers.
Announcing the launch event in London, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, YK Sinha, said, ''OYO has established itself as a strong and popular Indian brand in South Asia and I am happy to see the company making a commitment to invest in creating beautiful living spaces in the United Kingdom. I convey my best wishes to the OYO team for their future endeavours.''
The team has appointed Jeremy Sanders, a British entrepreneur, who has co-founded the British restaurant chain, Coco di Mama to head operations. The team aims to hire over 100 OYOpreneures, who are employees that will function as entrepreneurs across UK.
Jeremy Sanders, Head of OYO UK, said: “We want to become the trusted partner of independent hotels across the UK and, as we’ve experienced in Asia.”
The UK is Oyo's fourth International expansion. This year it entered China and late last year, the team had ventured into Malaysia and Nepal. Oyo is now present in over 150 cities across China, India, Malaysia, and Nepal. It claims to have over 5,000 exclusive hotels under its Oyo Townhouse brand, which works in close proximity with its asset partners while exercising full control over the hotels for ensuring a quality experience for travellers. Its network includes major metros, regional business hubs, top leisure destinations, as well as pilgrimage towns.
Since last year, Oyo has been launching different verticals. Early last year, the team launched Oyo Townhouse, and also ventured into the homes segment with Oyo Homes.
In the fiscal ending 2016-17, Oyo raised about $260 million in a funding round led by SoftBank, which included participation from existing investors, and new ones like China Lodging Group and Hero Enterprises. The company is also backed by investors like Lightspeed India, Greenoak Capital, and Sequoia India.