Budget hotel aggregator Deyor Rooms has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.28 crore) in angel funding from Redcliffe Capital's Dheeraj Jain and other unnamed investors as it sharpens its focus on corporate clients to stand out from the increasing number of startups crowding this space.
The startup, which focuses on pilgrimage towns and tourist destinations and went live two months back, also plans to close another round of investment by the end of 2015.
Deyor Inns Pvt Ltd, which operates Deyor, also brings on board Jain who will now be one of the co-founders along with the original founders Sanjeev Newar and Chirag Gupta.
Jain, who is a partner at London and Gurgaon-based Redcliffe Capital, had previously invested in startups such as Shipsy, Zocalo, Simpli5d and Burger Singh. Newar is an alumnus of IIT Guwahati and IIM Calcutta, while Gupta is a Delhi University graduate.
Jain has co-founded Delhi-based education technology firm Wincourse, which recently acquired 85 per cent stake in Mappr.
The money will be used to expand operations into newer cities, standardise hotel rooms and step up marketing, Jain told Techcircle.in.
With the bulk of its bookings coming from corporates, Deyor has onboarded a standardisation advisory team of hospitality experts from industry majors such as Carlton, ITC Hotels, Taj Hotels and Premier Inn.
The six-month-old startup has tied up with hotels in 22 cities including Mathura, Noida, Mumbai, Rishikesh, Shimla and Ranikhet.
"We are focusing on partnering with properties which require minimal changes and minimal investment," adds Jain. It plans to cover 700 hotels in 38 cities by March-end.
As of now, it is booking 1000 nights a month and hopes to take it to 5,000 nights a month by March-end.
It also plans to have a vegetarian-only hotel list on its network to cater to customers with distinct food preferences.
Deyor competes with OYO Rooms, Zo Rooms, ZiP Rooms, Wudstay, Vista Rooms, QiK Rooms and other tech platforms for a slice of the growing budget hotels aggregation space.
Anchored on an asset-light business model, these firms are essentially aggregating standalone budget hotels, strapping them with a common brand with a promise to the consumer to offer a standardised set of amenities like a conventional budget hotel chain.
They are seen as a new breed of accommodation booking providers against large online travel agencies (OTAs) such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and others which simply list hotels of all categories.
However, even OTAs are now floating their own version of of the budget hotel aggregation business. Goibibo recently unveiled goStays, a standardised budget accommodation starting at Rs 999 per day (with free breakfast) at multiple Indian cities. Yatra.com launched TG Rooms and TG Stays with a starting price of Rs 499 in over 60 cities. Investor interest
Budget hotel aggregators are generating tremendous interest among investors.
OYO Rooms, the largest player in this space, raised $100 million (Rs 635 crore) in a fresh round of funding led by Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank, three months back. Zo Rooms raised a Series A round led by Tiger Global with participation from Orios Venture Partners in July.
WudStay Travels Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates WudStay.com, also raised $3 million in Series A funding from venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners and Nimbuzz CEO Vikas Saxena in July.
QiK Rooms Pvt Ltd, which operates under the QiK Stay brand, secured seed funding of $250,000 (Rs 1.62 crore) from venture capital firm I.D. Enablers Pvt Ltd in October.