After raising a $34 Mn Series C funding in August last year, Bengaluru-based tech-enabled budget hotel brand Treebo Hotels has made its debut acquisition with online events discovery platform Events High.
The deal amount remained undisclosed. According to media report, “The acquisition marks Treebo’s efforts to add to its services, and takes a leaf out of global accommodation marketplace Airbnb’s successful strategy of offering events and experiences to consumers.”
Events High offers information on various activities and events and enables customers to book treks and hikes, cooking classes, dance classes, concerts, heritage walks, nightlife, etc in eight cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Goa. The move will enable Treebo to enter the thriving events and activities segment, which is estimated to be ~$180B in size globally, and ~$5B in India.
Also, with this deal, Events High’s early-stage investor Axilor Ventures will acquire an undisclosed stake in Treebo. After the acquisition, the Events High team of 15 will get absorbed in Treebo.
“We are excited to have Events High founders Nikesh Garera, Arvind Batra, and the team onboard. They come with strong tech experience, having worked with technology giants like Google and Walmart Labs in the US. Their solid domain expertise and consumer understanding are reflected in the strong product they have built,” said Treebo co-founder Sidharth Gupta, in a media statement.
An email sent to Treebo did not elicit any response till the time of publication.
Bengaluru-based Events High was founded in 2014 as an events and activities marketplace that brings all activities at one place. The platform further enables users to make bookings personalised to their interests, location, and social circle. Organisers use the platform to create, manage and sell events, see real-time statistics, and promote their activity to the right audience.
Treebo, on the other hand, is busy enhancing customer experience, building a stronger brand, strengthening its technology team, and expanding its footprint in existing and new cities, as shared by Sidharth with Inc42 in an earlier interaction during the Series C fundraise.
Treebo is looking to expand its offerings amid close competition with its arch-rival OYO, which has got a major backing from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. While Treebo has so far maintained a low profile in terms of raising funds, OYO has already raised $448 Mn funding till date.
OYO is also in talks to further raise $800 Mn while scaling its presence internationally in countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Dubai among others. In 2017, OYO also grabbed eyeballs after claiming that its GBV run rate touched the $400 Mn mark, thereby showing a 12x growth in the last two years.
But as Sidharth told Inc42 back in 2016, “We are here to build a brand and not an aggregator or a marketplace or an OTA. And, this will take time. After all, businesses are supposed to be built on laws of physics and not on laws of capital.”
So far, Treebo has been growing steadily in its attempt to become a sustainable business while focusing on unit economics and scale at the same time. With the recent acquisition of Events High, it might be preparing its fleet of ‘Treebs’ (people who work at Treebo) to now venture into the $1.4 Bn (INR 10K Cr) events industry in India, adding another opportunity-driven domain that will complement its budget hotel chain business.
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