OYO – The Story Behind its Origin, Products & Funding

Oyo founder

The Founder and CEO of the OYO(On Your Own) room, Ritesh Agarwal is an entrepreneur, an author, a coder, and a great orator. He is the world’s youngest self-made Billionaire after Kylie Jenner.

Ritesh is the solo resident Asian nominated for thiel fellowship in the year he launched Oravel Travel ( for budget accommodations) in 2012 and he has been the only Indian to receive it. He renamed the Oravel Travels with OYO Rooms and Relaunched it in 2013.

Ritesh is a Successful Entrepreneur at the age of 26 years old and was born in a respectful family in Cuttack. To become the most Successful Entrepreneur the journey is not so easy for him.

He faced several difficulties to make his idea Work & Founded OYO Rooms in 2013 with Gurgaon, Haryana as its Headquarters and expanded globally with thousands of hotels, vacation homes, and millions of rooms in India, Malaysia, UAE, Nepal, China, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Philippines, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, the United States and more. 

OYO Origin

He enrolled at Delhi’s Indian School of Business and Finance to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. He drops out of college in the middle of his studies to start his own business. To make his ambition a reality, he had to make some difficult decisions. Before founding OYO, he traveled across the country and encountered difficulties with affordable hotels.

He founded Oravel Travel, which he modeled after Airbnb when he was 17 years old. Later, it was subdivided into OYO rooms. Because he believes the difficulties and problems with affordable hotels are growing, he founded OYO. To get a hassle-free experience to people OYO partnered with many hotels across huge cities and holds 17000 employees globally and currently, for hospitality enthusiasts OYO had set up 26 training institutes across India. 

Titles and Awards 

He published a book with detailed information about the top 100 engineering colleges at a young age, which quickly became a bestseller. He has received numerous awards, including Forbes’ ‘30 under 30′ in the consumer tech sector, Top 50 entrepreneurs in 2013 by Tata First Dot powered by NEN awards, TIE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2014, and the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award.

He was so interested in coding that he borrowed books from his brother to master it when he was just eight years old. He was one of 240 students selected for an Asian camp at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research when he was 16 years old. 

Acquisitions, Partnerships & Investments

  • OYO acquired the Qlik Pass team in March 2016 to establish its Data Science Department. 
  • In March 2018, OYO purchased Novascotia Boutique Homes, a service apartment provider based in Chennai, to extend its service apartment and corporate executive stay options. Weddingz.in a Mumbai-based online marketplace for wedding venuesand providers, was also bought in 2018, signifying the company’s debut into the $40 billion wedding business. 
  • Not Only Acquisitions OYO also made a strategic plan of making partnership with Airbnb which makes OYO Properties to be listed on the Airbnb Platform. To increase Infrastructure, to strengthen the technology & Internal Capability OYO Invested 1400 Crores in its business in India and South Asia in March 2019. 
  • In April 2019, OYO announced a strategic partnership with bedbank Hotelbeds for global distribution 
  • In May 2019, OYO announced the acquisition of @Leisure Group, Europe’s largest vacation rental firm, located in Amsterdam. OYO announced another acquisition of Innov8 in July 2019. In August 2019, OYO announced its first substantial investment in the United States, partnering with US-based real estate business Highgate to purchase the Hooters Casino Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip for $135 million. 

OYO Services & its Products

As a part of its acquisitions and Investments it has expanded their OYO Rooms, OYO Hotels & Homes into Many products and services as follow 

  • OYO Townhouse – a neighborhood hotel is in the midscale segment targeted for millennial travelers. 
  • OYO Home – Offering private homes in different locations and are fully managed by OYO 
  • OYO Vacation Homes – the home brand with vacation rental management brands Belvilla, Danland, and DanCenter along with Germany-based Traum-Ferienwohnungen. 
  • SilverKey – launched in April 2018, Designed to meet the needs of corporate travelers undertaking business trips for a short or long duration. 
  • Capital O – Offers hotel booking services. 
  • Palette – Offers an intuitive experience at competitive prices, an upper-end leisure resort category. 
  • Collection O – Offers to book and renting services to business travelers.
  • OYO LIFE – Targeted at millennials and young professionals in search of fully managed homes on long-term rentals, at affordable prices. 
  • YO! HELP – A self-help tool that offers support for check-ins, check-outs, and payments related things. 


OYO Rooms is the most successful start-up in India with investors include SoftBank Group, Didi Chuxing, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise, Airbnb, and China Lodging Group. It is the country’s largest budget hotel chain. It has over 23,000 hotels, 8,50,000 rooms, and 46,000 vacation homes across the globe.

It raised $1 Billion in September 2018, $1.5 Billion Series F funding led by SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Ventures Partners, and Sequoia India, $100 Million from Star Virtue Investment Ltd on 13 Feb 2019. In the same month, OYO received $100 Million in funding from a Chinese Company.

In July 2019, Agarwal bought $2 billion in shares in the company through RA Hospitality Holdings(Cayman), Which tripled his shares. In 2019, OYO Clocks a revenue of $951 Million. In 2020 his net worth is around INR 7253 crore which is 1.1 billion dollars as per the Hunus Rich 2020 list. It makes him the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.