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OYO Rooms is cleaning up India’s chaotic hotel business

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From rags to riches, this college dropout had discovered an untapped oasis in organizing India's chaotic neighborhood hotels, now he's an entrepreneur whose venture has raked in $5 billion.

OYO Rooms, the hotel chain and room aggregator founded by Ritesh Agarwal in 2013 after pursuing his wanderlust, announced that it had secured $1 billion (Rs7,200 crore) in fresh funding. The capital infusion was led by existing investors SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The three have already pumped in $800 million with a promise to invest $200 million more.

The funding makes OYO India’s latest unicornprivate startups valued at over $1 billionand the second-most valuable after One97 Communications, digital payments app Paytm’s parent company that in August sold a $356 million stake to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. (E-commerce marketplace Flipkart used to top the unicorns leaderboard until it was sold to US retailer Walmart for $16 billion in May this year.)

“I am ecstatic for OYO as this is a massive moment for them and because of OYO, for the Indian startup ecosystem. The 6X markup to OYO’s previous round valuation vindicates our position that the best is yet to come—from OYO and from Indian startups,” said Anirudh Damani, managing Partner at Artha Venture Fund and an angel investor in OYO.

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