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After rumors flourished in late July about Microsoft
investing in Oyo Rooms prior to the budget hotel start-up's anticipated IPO,
the technology company last week plunked down $5 million for a piece of the
India-based company. The new investment values Oyo at $9.6 billion, which is
near the $10 billion valuation from 2019 and significantly higher than the $3
billion valuation from recent quarters, according to TechCrunch, which added
that the investment could mean Oyo shifting to use Microsoft's cloud services.
Last month, Oyo raised
$660 million in term loan B funding. The company planned to use the funds
to retire its past debts, strengthen its balance sheet and invest in product
Oyo had been growing at a fast clip prior to the pandemic,
expanding into new markets, including the United
States in 2019. BTN named its founder
and CEO Ritesh Agarwal to its 25 Most Influential People in Business Travel
later that year. But early in 2020, the company made significant staff
cuts, particularly in India and China, then in the U.S. Agarwal
in February 2020 shared with BTN Oyo's global strategy and insights into
its business travel bookings, but that was prior to Covid-19 becoming a global
pandemic, which ravaged the company's business, as it did the hotel industry as
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