Microsoft Invests In Indian OYO To Develop Tourism/Hotel Technologies

Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive officer of OYO Hotels & Homes, speaks at the SoftBank World 2019 event in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Agarwal said the company is using data to evaluate properties in under five days, a process that might take traditional hotels months. That allows the startup to add about 90,000 new rooms every 90 days, for a total of 1.1 million. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Today, Microsoft confirmed that it had invested in the Indian budget hotel chain OYO. Moreover, the two companies have also reached a multi-year strategic partner agreement. They will jointly develop “next generation” tourism and hotel products and technologies.

A month earlier, we heard that Microsoft had invested US$5 million in OYO, valuing it at US$9.6 billion. This valuation is slightly lower than the US$10 billion valuation obtained by OYO in the last round of financing. But it is much higher than the US$3 billion valuation given by SoftBank Group in recent quarters.

As for today’s statement, Microsoft confirmed the news in a statement, but did not disclose the specific investment scale. At the same time, the two companies also announced a multi-year strategic partner agreement. As said, they will jointly develop “next generation” tourism and hotel products and technologies.

Microsoft Will Cooperate With OYO

Specifically, OYO will use the Microsoft Azure cloud services to meet its business cloud needs. In addition, the two companies will jointly develop solutions to serve small and medium hotel operators.

“As part of this alliance, OYO will develop Smart Room experiences for travelers on the OYO platform, such as premium and customized in-room experiences for its guests. Using Microsoft’s Azure IoT, the experience will include self-check-in supported by a digital register of arrivals and departures and self-Know Your Customer (KYC) along with IoT-managed smart locks and virtual assistance,” the firms said.

As part of the cooperation, OYO will also develop a “Smart Room” experience for travelers on its platform. It includes providing guests with a high-quality and customized room experience. Through Microsoft’s Azure IoT, this experience will include self-service check-in and check-out procedures, self-service KYC, as well as smart locks and virtual assistance managed by the Internet of Things.

Microsoft Azure Will Play An Important Role

Anant Mahehwari, President of Microsoft India, said: “Combining the power of Azure with the tech and product stack developed by OYO, we are looking forward to accelerating innovation in travel and hospitality. It is inspiring to see how the Microsoft cloud is empowering digital natives like OYO to accelerate industry transformation and innovations, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future.”

Microosft Azure

OYO has developed into one of the largest hotel chains in the world. It operates in India, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. OYO is going to submit an IPO (initial public offering) application later this year.

Also Read: Microsoft To Expand Its Business In Asia – To Build Data Centers In China

This investment is also Microsoft’s latest investment in Indian startups. Prior to this, Microsoft has invested in India’s news aggregation and short video platform DailyHunt, e-commerce giant Flipkart, and logistics SaaS company FarEye.

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