After reporting a 4.3x Y-o-Y global sales growth in 2018, OYO has now launched its hospitality operations in Saudi Arabia market. Currently, the company has listed 50 hotels with over 3,000 rooms across seven cities in Saudi Arabia on the platform.
The hotels will be maintained under OYO’s franchise model with full inventory control.
OYO founder and group CEO Ritesh Agarwal said that the expansion is in line with company’s quest to support Saudi Arabia’s growing hospitality ecosystem and creating infrastructure for asset owners to grow and run successful businesses— all of this while ensuring high standards of quality.
OYO has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia, to highlight the business potential it sees in the market.
“The company obtained its foreign investment licence from Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) a few months ago and plans to invest significantly in Saudi Arabia, and expand to over 17 cities across 6 provinces by 2020,” said SAGIA Governor Ibrahim bin Abdul Rahman Al-Omar.
The company plans to employ over 300 local citizens by the end of 2019, and generate employment for over 5,000 Saudi citizens by 2020. OYO will also set up OYO Skill Institute in Riyadh and Jeddah to train Saudi graduates in hotel management.
OYO’s plan to expand into Saudi Arabia first surfaced in October 2018. The reports mentioned that it will start its operations in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.
The development comes a week after OYO closed its $1Bn Series E funding round with $100 Mn from China’s ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing.
Overall, the company currently claims to have over 13K hotels and 3,000 homes listed on its platform. In terms of India, the company plans to expand its presence across 10 Indian cities by 2020, and add another 1K direct and indirect employment opportunities.
The reports were rife that OYO is looking to expand into the United States, with apilott project in Texas already in works. It may add 2K hotels—including small, urban hotels—in dozens of states to its network if all goes well.
With Saudi Arabia, OYO is now present in nine countries — India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, UK, UAE, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. The ongoing international expansion has been fruitful for OYO Hotels and Homes announced a realised value run rate of $1.8 Bn as of December 2018, from $0.4 Bn in 2017. The SoftBank-backed company said its revenue from global operations is expected to touch INR 1,400 Cr ($197 Mn) in FY 2018-19.