You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Oyo recovering from Covid, has $1 bn to fund operations until IPO: CEO

Agarwal said the company's focus is on getting revenue per available room to 60 per cent to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels across all markets

Oyo | OYO Hotels & Homes | Startups

Saritha Rai | Bloomberg 

The 27-year-old entrepreneur made the comments in a fireside chat with Oyo board member Troy Alstead | Photo: Bloomberg

Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive officer of Hotels, told employees the Indian startup is making progress in recovering from the coronavirus fallout and has about $1 billion to fund operations until an initial public offering.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur made the comments in a fireside chat with board member Troy Alstead, after the once high-flying company endured months of layoffs and losses as Covid-19 hammered its business. is one of the largest in the portfolio of SoftBank Group Corp., reaching a valuation of $10 billion before the downturn.

Agarwal said the company’s focus is on getting revenue per available room to 60 per cent to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels across all markets. India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia are making progress in reaching that range, he added.

“We are still not at the best place, a lot more work to be done,” Agarwal said, according to a transcript of the discussion seen by Bloomberg “We continue to hold close to a billion dollars of cash, including all our group

Alstead, the former chief operating officer of Starbucks Corp., is an independent director. Board members also include Gerry Lopez and Munish Varma of SoftBank.

ALSO READ: Samsung may discontinue high-end Galaxy Note smartphones: Report

Masayoshi Son’s Other Big Real Estate Bet Has Some Real Problems

Oyo’s breakneck expansion, encouraged and financed by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, led to operational missteps and soured partnerships. The company ended up laying off or furloughing thousands of employees, cutting its overall headcount by two-thirds to about 10,000.

Agarwal told employees he has not felt any pressure from outside shareholders as he has cut back during the pandemic. Investors have “very strong” representation on the board and directors give input on the business, he said.

The young founder, who in a highly unusual move borrowed $2 billion to buy shares in his own company, hinted he wants to get the business in shape for a public offering.

“Our management’s focus is to make sure that we have a well designed, IPO-ready company, available for our shareholders and board members to make the right decision,” he said.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, December 01 2020. 13:51 IST