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Microsoft is in talks to invest in Indian budget hotel start-up Oyo

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Key Points
  • Microsoft is in advanced talks to invest in Indian budget hotel chain Oyo, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNBC.
  • It was not known how big of a check the tech giant will cut for the SoftBank-backed hotel start-up, which is valued at about $9 billion.
An OYO Rooms logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
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Microsoft is in advanced talks to invest in Indian budget hotel chain Oyo, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNBC.

The size of the deal is not known, but the SoftBank-backed hotel start-up is valued at about $9 billion.

The news was first reported by TechCrunch, which said the proposed deal may involve Oyo shifting to use Microsoft's cloud services.

Oyo did not respond to CNBC's request for comment. Microsoft was also not immediately available for comments.

Oyo raised $660 million in debt funding this month from global institutional investors to use the capital for paring dues and other business investments.

Senior executives at the company have said the start-up is working on a potential public listing but did not provide a timeline for the IPO — a number of highly-valued Indian technology start-ups are in the middle of entering the public markets, and food delivery firm Zomato saw a stellar stock market debut last week.

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Oyo has expanded beyond India and into markets in the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia.

However, questionable tactics cast doubt on the health of the Indian start-up, according to reports last year. The coronavirus pandemic worsened the situation and forced the hotel chain to lay off employees to cut costs and losses.

With vaccination rates rising, and countries slowly easing restrictions, travel demand is making a slow recovery. Last month, Oyo founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal told CNBC the company's daily bookings for the summer season more than doubled in Europe, where the vaccination rate is relatively high.

CNBC's Naman Tandon contributed to this report.