OYO could file for $1 billion-worth IPO next week
Budget-centric Indian hotel chain start-up OYO is likely to file for an initial public offering (IPO) next week. This would put OYO in the league of a few tech unicorns from India that have entered public markets. The seven-year-old company is reportedly planning to raise as much as $1.2 billion in the IPO, according to anonymous banker sources. Here are more details.
OYO was founded by Ritesh Agarwal in 2014. The firm is backed by marquee investors such as SoftBank, Lightspeed Partners, and Airbnb, among others. The company was recently valued at $9.6 billion. As per Agarwal's public comment at a conference three months ago, the company has around $780 to $800 million in the bank. In July, the company also raised $660 million in debt.
People familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that OYO could file for an IPO as early as next week. However, these terms could change slightly over the next few days and OYO may take another few days to file the paperwork, anonymous sources told TechCrunch. One person mentioned plans to join the likes of Zomato, Paytm, and PolicyBazaar on the Indian stock exchanges.
OYO operates in 35 countries and recently raised about $5 million in strategic investment from Microsoft. OYO offers an online system that helps hoteliers accept digital bookings and payments. It also offers proprietary technology that helps hoteliers improve their discoverability, integrate with third-party hotel booking services, and determine the best price for a room.
Talking to Bloomberg TV in July, 27-year-old Agarwal said that OYO is "already operating like a public company." However, at the time, he refused to share whether it would be listed on stock exchanges anytime soon. On condition of anonymity, banker sources said that OYO's IPO could help the start-up raise as much as $1.2 billion. The specifics about the listing remain unknown.