Microsoft is in talks to invest in Oyo, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, according to a report by TechCrunch. Oyo is valued at $9 billion, according to people familiar with the situation that spoke with TechCrunch. The amount of Microsoft’s potential investment has not been reported at this time.
Oyo was founded in 2013. It is now one of the largest hotel chains in India and the sixth-largest hotel chain in the world, according to its CEO Ritish Agarwai. The hotel giant is also considering going public, according to Agarwai.
Reports indicate that investment from Microsoft would come before Oyo’s initial public offering (IPO). TechCrunch reports that a deal could close as early as today (July 30, 2021). Reuters states that the deal could be announced in the coming weeks.
Part of Microsoft’s deal with Oyo could involve the hotel chain moving to Microsoft’s cloud services, according to TechCrunch.
Oyo has come under criticism in the past for some of its alleged practices. A report by The New York Times alleged that the hotel chain used questionable practices to expand. The chain allegedly listed rooms that weren’t available in order to increase its number of listings.
The New York Times also reported that Oyo would give police and other officials free accommodation to avoid issues.
Neither Microsoft nor Oyo’s CEO has issued statements on any potential investment.