Tencent tipped to invest up to US$500m in Indian budget hotel network OYO

Chinese internet company Tencent is said to invest between US$300 to US$500 million in Indian hospitality service and budget hotel network, OYO Hotels.

The latest investment is said to raise OYO's value to more than US$2 billion, according to the Times of India, and is intended to grow its Chinese business. Also, the US$2 billion investment is significantly higher than the US$850 million capital OYO raised in 2017 from SoftBank through its Vision Fund, which seeks to make investments in the technology sector. OYO currently has 11,000 hotel rooms in 26 Chinese cities including Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, among others.

Last month, OYO said it plans to expand further into Malaysia and has committed an initial capital of US$20 million for the expansion.

Abhinav Sinha, chief operating officer, OYO Hotels told A+M in a previous interview that it intends to grow its Malaysian team from 50 employees to 500 over the next 12 months. OYO also plans to create more than 5,000 new jobs in Malaysia over the next few years, and achieve “twenty-fold increase” by onboarding 1,000 hotels over the next 12 months.

According to Sinha, Malaysia was chosen as the “first port-of-call” in Southeast Asia given its attractive characteristics such as higher-than-average mobile penetration and a large internet population. Also, budget hotels’ market share of the hospitality sector in Malaysia is growing rapidly, worth US$2 to US$3 billion as of last year.