OYO Rooms to offer serviced apartments & homestays by 2017 end, in talks with realty players

Hotel aggregator OYO Rooms is eyeing an expansion of its budget segment to offer serviced apartments and homestays for leisure markets by the end of the year. The SoftBank-backed company is betting big on this category , which will come under its budget brand `OYO Rooms’, and is in advanced talks for partnerships with various real estate players for the vertical.

OYO Rooms had phased out its OYO Homes and Studio Stays categories (in homestays and service apartments categories) which was launched last year and is now looking to bring them back through the initiative. “Service apartments is a huge opportunity . We are doing a lot of work there (and) are signing very large partnerships,“ Ritesh Agarwal,  said. Agarwal is looking to launch this segment in about six months. “For the new apartment category , we are currently (finalising) partnerships with real estate builders,“ he said.

The segment will be in addition to OYO’s supply of hotels and will enable a larger offering to customers in the budget segment. The aggregator has brought on board smaller real estate players for the same and will be working on newly constructed properties as also refurbished older home stays and serviced apartments owned by some realty players.

OYO’s expansion in this budget segment comes at a time when the company is in talks to raise about $300 `3,330 crore) from `2,000-.$500 million (.SoftBank’s Vision Fund as reported earlier this month. The deal, which could result in the largest financing round in India’s startup sector since November 2015, could value the Gurgaon-based startup at $1.2 billion making it the latest entrant to the unicorn club.

The emphasis on the budget segment comes even as OYO is aggressively expanding its mid-premium category -TownHouse with a target of 250 rooms by the end of 2017.OYO has also charted an extensive international strategy after it set foot in the Malaysian market last year. “Our long-term view is to become a large global organisation.We aspire to launch (in a new country) every three to six months, starting 2017,“ Agarwal said.