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Two Months Into Operations, Budget Hotel Marketplace Raises $3 Mn From Mangrove & Nimbuzz CEO

Two Months Into Operations, Budget Hotel Marketplace Raises $3 Mn From Mangrove & Nimbuzz CEO

Seems like budget hotel marketplace is fast gaining attention from investors. Recently, there has been quite a buzz in the domain with players like ZenRooms, Treebo, FabHotels and Stayzilla raising funds to target the travellers and expand pan India. The likes are competing head on with two well known players in the domain viz ZoRooms and Oyo Rooms.

This time budget accommodation aggregator has raised $3 Mn from Mangrove Capital Partners and CEO of Nimbuzz, Vikas Saxena in exchange of undisclosed equity stake.

Founded in June this year by Prafulla Mathur, Wudstay is launched with an aim to provide a budget accommodation hotel to avid travellers.

With the funds raised, Gurgaon-based Wudstay plans to expand its presence to around more than 60 cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Agra and Udaipur. Presently, Wudstay has tied up with about 40 guest houses and hotels in Gurgaon and Jaipur. This approximately trickles to 400 rooms available for a night at an affordable cost of INR 999 to 1,299.

Wudstay differentiates itself from the other players of the domain by not only having a seamless booking with tech enabled booking engine but also how they standardised the accommodation partners through technology ensuring that all the standards guaranteed to the customers are followed by the accommodation partners.

Prafulla founder and CEO, Wudstay, who also started mobile app development company Queppelin said, “In India there is a lot of discrepancy in guest house accommodation booking. Through Wudstay we are looking at solving these problems.”

According to Prafulla the Indian travel market will hit about $70-75 Bn in 2015. Wudstay is gearing up to tap this huge market. “For the next 18 months we plan to be in about 60 to 65 cities across Tier I&II cities”, he added.

Earlier in the year, Europe-based venture capital firm, Mangrove Capital Partners announced an investment of around $250 Mn corpus in India’s ecommerce, internet and telecom startups for an investment period of 5-10 years.

Commenting on the investment made, Mark Tluszcz, founder and CEO said, “Budget accommodation is so badly structured, in terms of the quality of what you can get, due to lack of transparency and standards. It creates a perfect tech opportunity for the investment. However, ecommerce is kind of over-invested in India and I feel that low-cost accommodation business is new and fresh and will grow very fast.”

Investing in over 70 early-stage startups across Europe, Israel and Russia Mangrove has so far invested in two startups in India including Wudstay. Earlier, Mangrove had invested $5-10 Mn in StoreKing, which offers ecommerce platform to retail stores that double up as grocery stores in the tier-3 and lower towns in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

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