Oyo is the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain

Few of the vegetable sellers outside the Oyo 8210 hotel, on a rundown backstreet in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, would suspect it is part of a revolution in the global hotel industry. Its no-frills, windowless rooms cost Rmb100 ($14) a night, with scuffed flooring and rock-hard mattresses. But the lodge is part of the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain, which is now planning to turbo-charge its expansion with $1 billion of new investment led by Japanese group SoftBank… Already comfortably India’s biggest hotel brand by room numbers, Oyo Rooms has become one of China’s 10 largest within a year of launching there. It claims that within four years it can be the biggest hotel brand in the world. In an earnings call in August, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son praised Oyo for growing its room numbers at 10 times the pace of global leader Marriott… A month later, Mr Son’s Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund boosted its stake in Oyo by leading the company’s biggest funding round to date, with an immediate injection of $800 million and further commitments of $200 million. The round put Oyo’s valuation at $5 billion, making it the third most richly valued start-up to emerge from India, behind only online marketplace Flipkart and payments group Paytm.

Simon Mundy and Tom Hancock