Delhi-based hostel startup GoStops has raised a fresh round of undisclosed funding from Atraxn Partners. The company is looking to use the funds to expand its offerings and double the bed capacity at GoStops properties in the next 12 months.
Prior to this, GoStops raised funds from angel investors like Nitish Mittersain (founder and MD, Nazara Games), Sorabh Agarwal (ex-MD, Copal Partners), Sameer Walia (founder and ex-MD, The Smart Cube), Rohit Shankar (cofounder, Dimdim.com), Sunil Kumar Singhvi (owner, South Handlooms) and other senior corporate executives.
Founded in 2012 by Pallavi Agarwal and Pankaj Parwanda, GoStops is a premium travel and coliving hostel chain. The startup leases, manages and sets up franchisees of its real estate assets, which are then designed, transformed, marketed, sold, and operated as youth hostels in business and leisure locations preferred by millennials. The company claims to have 70% of its inventory as dormitories and 30% as private rooms.
Talking to Inc42, GoStops’ founders said that the company hosts about 7K guests every month, and is growing at 125 Beds per month. Going forward, the company is looking to grow supply, invest in marketing, technology and team to drive efficiencies and growth. The company is looking to tap the burgeoning millennial and generation Z travel market, which gravitates towards aspirational and unique experiences rather than luxuries or amenities. The millennial tourist market presents a $100 Bn opportunity for businesses in India and Southeast Asia by 2024.
It is operating in 15 cities including Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Udaipur etc with a total capacity of 1000 beds across India. GoStops’ hostels are equipped with air-conditioned dorms and private rooms, 24×7 café offers facilities like mini theatre, pool table, aesthetically designed work and lounge space and many activities to socialise and explore a destination with other fellow travellers. Atraxn partners said that GoStops’ USP is the standardised one-stop experience it offers for youth travellers, which is on par with global quality standards.
Backed by a growing middle-class base, higher disposable income and a new cultural wave, more and more Indians are travelling and the travel and tourism industry in India thus has witnessed a meteoric rise. The travel and tourism sector in India accounted for 8% of the total employment opportunities generated in the country in 2017, providing employment to around 41.6 Mn people during the same year. The number is expected to rise by 2% annum to 52.3 Mn jobs by 2028.