NEW DELHI: Hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes announced an investment of Rs 1,400 crore ($200 million) in India and launched the Collection O brand targeted at millennial travellers on Tuesday. The funds will be directed to “further double down on expansion plans, improve customer experience and ensure increase in continued asset owner success,” the company said.

ET had reported on December 24 that the company, which was in the process of raising $1 billion, planned to invest $200 million from the funding round in India.

“India has been our key home market,” said group CEO Ritesh Agarwal. “Today, we are the largest hotel operator in this country and that too by a margin, with 176,000 leased and franchised keys under management. We are committing over Rs 1,400 crore for technology investments, renovation, and managing investments for the calendar year, and will provide more, if needed, to help the team ensure continued economically efficient growth.”

Agarwal said losses as a percentage of realised value or sales run rate narrowed to 20.3% in FY18 from 44.5% in FY17. They’re seen dropping to 10.4% this year, he said. Oyo has a presence in 10 countries and 500 cities, including 260 in India Oyo plans to take its new Collection O brand to 650 hotels and 20,000 rooms this year positioned between the Oyo brand and upper midscale Oyo Townhouse. Collection O hotel rooms will be priced at Rs 1,600-2,200 per night.

Apart from Collection O, the portfolio includes Oyo Rooms, Townhouse, SilverKey, Capital O and Palette Resorts. In the homestay segment, Oyo Home grew fivefold in 2018.

“Oyo is not an aggregator, OTA (online travel agency), certification company, or a booking portal but a full-scale hotel chain that is growing 14 times faster than other marquee hotel brands in India,” said Aditya Ghosh, who took over as Oyo’s chief executive for India and South Asia in November.

The former IndiGo president said Oyo presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “What’s unique is that for the first time we have the opportunity to create world’s first truly global brand out of India,” he said. “There have been some great companies out of India for whom I have a lot of respect. But there is not one out of India which you can look and find on a street corner 30-40 countries wide, 50-60 cities deep. That’s the opportunity we’re chasing and it’s within touching distance.”

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