Oyo Valuation Continues to Soar Despite Losses

Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal had invested $700 million in the company last month.

Oyo Valuation Continues to Soar Despite Losses

Oyo says that the numbers are not the final audited financials

  • Oyo suffered significant losses in the financial year ending March
  • However, its valuation doubled between September 2018 to October 2019
  • The losses have reportedly mounted due to the rise in operating expenses

Hospitality unicorn Oyo's valuation has almost doubled in a year, reaching $10 billion between September 2018 and October 2019, despite significant losses in the financial year ending on March 31. The losses have reportedly mounted due to the rise in operating expenses fuelled by the company's aggressive expansion in overseas markets. The provisional net loss of the company jumped from Rs 360.43 crore in the previous financial year to Rs 2,384.69 crore this year, according to unaudited financials prepared by a valuation expert.

"The numbers are based on a valuation report prepared by Oyo's valuers (not auditors) that includes certain provisional financials for FY 19. It may be pointed out that the valuation parameters such as share prices are based on fair market value and are not reflective of the share premium price," an Oyo spokesperson said in a statement.

"We would like to clarify again that these are not the final audited financials and the same will be issued later by the company along with the annual report that we issue every year and file with the RoC as well," the spokesperson added.

But this did not reduce the growth in the valuation of the company backed by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi San's Softbank Vision Fund. The major boost came from the $700 million investment made by Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal in October this year through RA Hospitality Holdings (Cayman).

Oyo announced in October that it would raise $1.5 billion in the Series F funding round, whereby RA Hospitality Holdings will infuse approximately $700 million as primary capital in the company, with the balance $800 million being supplemented by other existing investors.

A significant part of the funds will be diverted towards its growth plans in the US market, and in strengthening the company's position in the vacation rentals business in Europe, the company said.

Earlier this year, RA Hospitality Holdings received Competition Commission of India approval to invest $2 billion in Oyo.

"In order to facilitate this transaction, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia, are selling part of their shareholding in Oyo to help the founder increase his stake while remaining invested and committed to the company's long-term mission," Oyo said.

Oyo had raised over $1 billion in its last financing round, announced in September 2018, led by SoftBank through SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital and supported by new strategic partners like Airbnb.

Oyo is present in over 80 countries. As per the company, it witnessed "3.8x" year-over-year revenue growth in August 2019.

However, the company's growing losses provoke comparison with the struggling co-sharing workspace company WeWork which recently laid off 2,400 employees following its failed attempt to go public.

This long-anticipated layoff is the biggest move by Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp, which is providing a $9.5 billion lifeline and will soon own about 80 per cent of WeWork's shares.


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