Treebo secures $1.3 mn from angels including Paytm, Rebel Foods CEOs

Treebo secures $1.3 mn from angels including Paytm, Rebel Foods CEOs
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
31 Jul, 2020

Ruptub Solutions, which owns and operates budget hotel chain Treebo, has received Rs 10.26 crore (about $1.37 million at current exchange rates) from angel investors as part its ongoing growth funding round.

The latest tranche of the Series D funding round saw contributions from 18 investors, including Saikiran Krishnamurthy, former head of Flipkart logistics arm eKart; Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma; Jaydeep Barman, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Foods; Deepak Parayanken, deputy managing director at Mozambique Holdings; and Nivesh Seth, senior manager at Amazon, as per regulatory filings.

The development was first reported by Entrackr.

The fresh capital comes a month after the Bengaluru-based company raised Rs 22.5 crore ($2.98 million at the time) from returning investors, including German firm Bertelsmann’s India investment unit, Matrix Partners India and SAIF Partners.

In January, it raised $457,748 from media conglomerate Bennett Coleman (BCCL) through an equity share and warrant issue. Prior to that, the company received $34 million in a Series C funding round from Hong Kong based hedge funds Ward Ferry Management and Karst Peak Capital, along with returning investors.

In 2016, media company Bertelsmann, along with SAIF Partners and Matrix Partners, infused $16 million as part of a Series B funding round in the company.

Treebo was founded in 2015 by Sidharth Gupta, Rahul Chaudhary and Kadam Jeet Jain. The budget hotel chain manages over 10,000 rooms across more than 95 cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyberabad and Ahmedabad. In August last year, Treebo launched Hotel Superhero, a platform to onboard mid- and small-scale hotels.

For the financial year 2018-19, Treebo posted a 66% year-on-year jump in revenue to Rs 68 crore. It maintained its losses at Rs 118 crore, compared to the previous year’s Rs 114 crore.

Treebo competes with companies such as OYO, FabHotels, MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip and Yatra.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown adversely impacted the travel and tourism sector, with the industry coming to a near standstill for weeks, before partially resuming operations.

In April, Treebo culled jobs across all functions and paid its staffers under the voluntary resignation scheme (PVRS), citing tough business climate in the travel industry. However, this was not the first time the company handed pink slips to its employees. In 2019, Treebo laid off about 20% of its 750-strong workforce on account of financial distress caused by intense competition.

Ritesh Agarwal led OYO, too, culled jobs, furloughed staff members and trimmed salaries to help it tide over the economic crisis, while Airbnb laid off 25% of its global employee base and Cleartrip fired over 400 employees.

Online travel agency MakeMyTrip recently laid off 350 employees, while its leadership team took a 50% pay cut from April.

Travel and hotel booking platform Ixigo also announced salary cuts in March. However, the firm recently rolled back the cuts, offered employee stock option plans (ESOPs) to all its staffers and announced a remote-first working strategy till the end of the year.