India’s tech-enabled hotel group OYO has announced plans to enter the UK market, its first move outside South Asia, starting with four properties in London.
OYO is the largest hospitality chain in south-east Asia. It is backed by high-profile investors including SoftBank Group, Greenoak Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group and has raised $450 million since it launched in India in 2013.
It has earmarked an initial £40 million to build its UK operations and wants to be present in 10 cities and have more than 5000 rooms across the UK by 2020.
The four launch properties have a total of 80 rooms and are branded as OYO Townhouse. Across OYO’s portfolio of brands, Townhouse is “based on the needs of the millennial traveller.”
The new UK operation is headed up by Jeremy Sanders, well known in hospitality circles as the founder of restaurant chain Coco di Mama. He said:
“We want to become the trusted partner of independent hotels across the UK and, as we’ve experienced in Asia, we are confident that our bespoke technology and operational expertise brings real value to hotel owners and customers alike. There is so much potential here…”
Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO said:
“The UK presents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for us. We are thrilled to be empowering the UK independent hoteliers with the technology and operational expertise that helps them focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes.”
Related reading from tnooz: