Wudstay, an online budget hotel aggregator, has pivoted to offering only paying guest (PG) and hostel aggregation, reports VCCircle. It is unclear as to when Wudstay pivoted to PGs from hotel aggregation. If its blog posts are anything to go by, it could as early as September since that is when its blog posts have only been about PGs.
Wudstay had entered the PG accommodation space a year ago at 50 locations across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kota. At the time, it said it would double its PG inventory by March 2016 and expand to other cities. At the start of this year, WudStay had started listing hotels in the luxury segment in a new category called WudStay Elite by partnering with 4 and 5 star hotels across the country.
However, as of now, the Gurgaon based company only lists PGs and hostels on its sites. Wudstay doesn’t charge brokerage and says there’s no lock in period. Currently, it operates in Delhi, Kota, Indore, Bangalore and Jaipur with plans to expand to Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Manipal.
It is unclear as to why Wudstay has moved from budget hotel aggregation to offer only PGs and hostels. Wudstay’s competitor from the hotel aggregation space Oyo acquired its rival Zo Rooms in February and was looking to raise Rs 413 crore by a proposed rights issue of shares. OYO had been finding it difficult to get new investors and VentureNursery, its first investor, was looking to exit the company in April. However, other competitors Treebo and FabHotels raised $16.7 million and $8 million respectively this year.
Meanwhile, Wudstay won’t be the first one to pivot its business in this space. Last month, Quikr acquired house rental and PG sharing platform Grabhouse for an undisclosed amount in an all stock deal. At launch, Grabhouse was a property rental portal, but soon moved to being an online search engine for roommates.
Wudstay’s Awesome Stays acquisition
Wudstay was launched by Prafulla Mathur in April 2015 and raised $3 million in funding from Mangrove Capital Partners and Vikas Saxena of Nimbuzz in July last year. Following this, it acquired Awesome Stays, a two year old offline budget hotel aggregator for an undisclosed amount, for expanding to new markets of Varanasi, Goa, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Pune, with plans to expand to 65 new cities by February 2017.
Funding in the online house rental space
Last month, real estate aggregator platform Square Yards raised $12 million from the private equity arm of Reliance Group. In April, NestAway, a home rentals startup raised $30 million in a series C round of funding led by Tiger Global and other investors. Bangalore-based p2p property listings platform NoBroker raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding.