Airbnb, the home sharing company, said Monday (April 1) it is investing in OYO Hotels & Homes, the India-based hotel booking company.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing two people familiar with the matter, the investment is aimed at expanding its presence in Asia. It is reportedly investing between $100 million and $200 million in the hotel booking startup, as part of Airbnb’s efforts to expand its business as it readies itself for an initial public offering (IPO).
The paper reported that as part of the investment, Airbnb and OYO are looking at listing around 10,000 OYO properties on Airbnb. OYO handles rentals for 6,000 homes around the world and 18,000 leased or franchised hotels. Greg Greeley, president of homes at Airbnb, said in a statement to The WSJ that India and China are among Airbnb’s fast-growing markets.
OYO has raised more than $1 billion in venture funding, with SoftBank among its investors. It has grown at a rapid pace since launching in 2013, and is now the sixth largest hotel operator in the world. OYO has a presence in China, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.K. It originally focused on small hotel owners, but in recent years has been expanding into managing homes.
India has become a hotbed for investments as investors and companies eye the next market for growth. In addition to the OYO investment, Airbnb in early March acquired HotelTonight, a startup that helps travelers find cheap hotel rooms. The acquisition puts Airbnb in direct competition with online travel website operators such as Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity.