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Online B&B Booking Site Oravel.com Raises Seed Funding

An online short stay accommodation (bread and breakfast) site, Oravel.com, has raised seed funding from angel investors. Shravan Shroff, founder of Fame Cinemas, and Ravi Kiran, former CEO – South East & South Asia – Starcom MediaVest Group and angels Anand Ladsariya, managing director of Everest Flavours, Amit Patni, co-founder and chairman of Nirvana Venture Advisors and Bharat Banka, CEO of Aditya Birla Private Equity invested in the firm. The financial details of the funding have not been disclosed yet. Ritesh Agarwal, founder of Oravel, has informed MediaNama that the funding received will be used for marketing the service.

Oravel.com is an online short stay accommodation site that runs on the Airbnb.com model. Users can list their serviced apartments, botique properties and villas on the site and travelers can book the apartment or room from the website. However, Oravel claims that it currently lists only hand picked properties, based on quality of the apartment.

Current Listings: Currently, users from New Delhi, Noida, and Gurgaon can list their apartments on the website. At the time of writing this article, the website featured 62 listings from New Delhi, 22 listings from Gurgaon, and 3 listings from Noida. Presently, the company charges a commissions on converted bookings. It also provides a free photoshoot of the apartment and plans to keep it that way in the future.

Agarwal also informed MediaNama that the venture is completely legal in India and that the Bed and Brekfast Act-GOI (pdf) is being promoted largely by the Government (ads inside metro stations, Lonely planet etc). Agarwal said that eventually Oravel would like to work closely with the Government.

Oravel was founded in February 2012 by eighteen year old Ritesh Agarwal. The startup is incubated at Venture Nursery, a seven month old incubator promoted by Shravan Shroff, founder of Fame Cinemas, and Ravi Kiran, former CEO – South East & South Asia – Starcom MediaVest Group.

Other Developments

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We had previously reported that  Airbnb, a similar online room and space reservation business, had launched operations in India with a small team based in India, focusing on supporting Indian suppliers. At the time of writing that article we had reported that Airbnb was building supply, in preparation for the peak season, which is between October and January. They were doing around 400 bookings per month in Delhi NCR, over 1000 in Goa and over 600 in Mumbai. Apart from that, there’s also Bnb4delhi that helps market the other rooms.

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