Microsoft will invest $5 million in hotel chain Oyo, according to regulatory filings (via Yahoo). Oyo’s estimated value is $9.6 billion, so Microsoft’s investment in the Softbank-backed hospitality company is a relatively small 0.52% of the valuation.
Many details of the investment have not been disclosed, according to reports. Reports by TechCruch from July 2021 say that the deal could include Oyo switching to Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Oyo is considering going public this year.
Oyo, founded in 2013, is the sixth-largest hotel chain in the world, according to its CEO Ritesh Agarwal. Like many companies in the industry, Owo’s business was reportedly hit hard by the global pandemic. According to reports, Oyo’s valuation fell to $8 billion in August 2020, down from its $10 billion valuation in November 2019. It is now valued at $9.6 billion, according to Fintrackr’s estimates.
Oyo has come under scrutiny in the past due to alleged practices. The New York Times alleges that the hotel chain used questionable practices to expand, including listing rooms that weren’t available to increase its number of listings. The same report claims that Oyo would give police and other officials free accommodation to avoid issues.
Microsoft has invested in several startups in India prior to Oyo. Last year, the Redmond-based tech giant invested in e-commerce company FlipKart. It has also invested in news aggregator Dailyhunt and SaaS firm FarEye.