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Zo Rooms raises funding from Tiger Global and Orios Partners

zoroomsRoom rental service Zo Rooms has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round of funding from Tiger Global and Orios Venture Partners, reports ET. According the the report, the funding amount was close to $15 million. The startup will use the funds for marketing, brand building and improving its technology.

As of now, Zo Rooms offers room rentals in 25 cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Mysore, Varanasi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. To book a room, users need to select the city they want the room in, the check in and check out dates, number of rooms, and number of people in the room. The website then displays a list of rooms in the given city, however, this list is not sortable based on price etc.

On selecting the room of their choice, users are provided with an option to ‘Power Book’ which lets them book their accommodation online and pay via credit/debit cards or net banking. Users can also choose to pay at the hotel itself. If not booking online, users are provided with a number to call the company and rent the room. Zo Rooms claims that it will have 2000 hotels in 60 cities by the end of this year.

Competition:

– In March this year, branded budget hotel rooms marketplace OYO Rooms secured $20 million in a funding round led by Greenoaks Capital and other existing investors. OYO Rooms operated as Oravel.com and pivoted its business from an Air BnB clone following operational issues. In May last year, Oravel had raised funding from DSG Consumer Partners, apart from raising funds from Lightspeed Venture Partners in March.

– In February, Chennai-based Insara Technologies, which operates hotel booking site Stayzilla, raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding led by Nexus Ventures with participation from existing investor Matrix Partners India. In 2013, Stayzilla had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Matrix Partners, in return of a minority stake in the company. In 2012, the company had raised $500,000  from Ravi Krishnappa, one of the founding partners of the angel fund VertExperts, who led the investment as part of the Indian Angel Network (IAN).

– Other than this, more established online travel agents such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatra etc., have hotel booking services that have been growing at an impressive rate. At MakeMyTrip, hotels and packaging business contributed for 44.2% of the company’s net revenues for the quarter ended December, and the segment’s revenues grew by 43.5% to $15.8 million for the quarter, from $10.99 million in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile Cleartrip, reported a 98% rise in hotel bookings in the third quarter. Cleartrip, which is an unlisted company, did not give the increase in searches and bookings in terms of absolute terms, but said that it saw an average of 2,500 room-nights booked per day. Over a 90 day period that translates to about 2,25,000 hotel bookings.

– Zo Rooms also has to contend with reverse bidding sites such as Findmystay and 90bids.com where travellers quote prices they are willing to pay and the website offers them hotels with closest fares.

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