Oyo invests €300m in expansion, with focus on Europe

15 Aug 2019

Image: © CorePics/Stock.adobe.com

Oyo is eyeing up the European market after acquiring Amsterdam-based holiday rental company Leisure earlier this year.

Indian hospitality company Oyo announced plans to invest €300m in its holiday home rental business, focusing on expanding operations in the European market.

The start-up was initially focused on hotel accommodation, but has more recently been referred to as the ‘Indian Airbnb’ as it has tried to move into the short-term home rental market.

At the end of 2017, the company launched Oyo Home, which is a marketplace for short-term managed rentals and operates similarly to Airbnb. Earlier this year, Airbnb confirmed it had a stake in Oyo, which is estimated to be between $150m and $200m.

Oyo, which is backed by SoftBank, could become a significant competitor to Airbnb in Europe if the company’s latest investment pays off.

The company claims to be the world’s third-biggest and fastest-growing hotel chain, with 23,000 hotels in more than 80 cities and 125,000 holiday homes on its platform.

European expansion

Oyo’s investment will go towards “strengthening the relationship with homeowners and enabling them with the resources required to deliver chic hospitality services”, the company said.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Amsterdam-based holiday rental company Leisure for $415m, before renaming it Oyo Vacation Homes.

In a statement, Tobias Wann, CEO of Oyo Vacation Homes, said: “We are focusing on enhancing our customer proposition to not just families but new-age millennials and young executives travelling for business or leisure, including consumers from newer geographies who travel to Europe from across the world including US, Asia, China and the Middle East.

“With a goal of becoming the largest vacation rentals business in Europe, Oyo Vacation Homes will continue to make significant investments in resourcing and manpower towards growing its existing footprint in the market.”

Chief strategy officer at Oyo, Maninder Gulati, added: “Globally, vacation rentals represent a massive multi-billion euro opportunity, the largest of which is in Europe.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic