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Online budget hotels aggregator Oyo Rooms is piloting Oyo Cafe, an aggregator platform which will list its hotels’ food items to be sold under the Oyo Cafe brand, reports ET. Oyo Cafe will make use of excess hotel inventory, and also possible use Zomato or Swiggy to deliver the food, padding the revenue generation for its partners. It will also pilot an on demand housekeeping service called Oyo Care for cleaning services.

ET cites Maninder Gulati, the head of strategy and corporate development at Oyo Rooms as saying that the company blocks a significant number of rooms in each of its properties because it wants to contribute to 80% of the hotel’s business. The company brings on board hotels with minimum guarantee deals, which is sold to users at discounted prices. Today, Oyo Rooms has also tied up with Thomas Cook India for providing over 3,200 hotels across 140 cities in the country. In October, it tied up with MobiKwik to offer mobile payments for Oyo Rooms.

Delisted from MakeMyTrip: Last month, online travel agencies (OTAs) like MakeMyTrip and Yatra decided to delist budget hotel aggregators Oyo and Zo Rooms from its platforms. At that time, Kavikrut, Chief Growth Officer of Oyo Rooms said that only 10-15% of its users came from OTAs and that most of its user base came via its app, website and helpline. MakeMyTrip then went on to launch its own budget hotel aggregation platform called Value+ last week.

Oyo We for women: In September, the company launched a women-exclusive brand called Oyo WE with all women staff and facilities curtailed to suit women-specific needs, since women travelers made up for up to 40% of its total customers. Oyo also hired Deepika Gupta as head of the We hotels.

Funding: In August, the company raised $100 million in a funding round led by SoftBank group with participation from existing investors to implement new customer experience initiatives, build technology products and extend its network.

Competition:

– In October, travel booking website Yatra launched two new types of accommodation options for travellers, TG Rooms and TG Stays.

– In September, online travel site Goibibo launched a new section on its website and mobile app called GoStays which aggregated unbranded budget accommodations.

– In August, Budget hotels aggregator WudStay acquired Awesome Stays, a two year old offline budget hotel aggregator for an undisclosed amount, to expand to new markets.

– In the same month, room rental service Zo Rooms raised $30 million from existing and new investors, for expanding to other cities. In October, it launched a premium service called Zo Prime.

– In the same month, tech-enabled budget hotel chain Treebo said it would be expanding its operations to Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. It had raised $6 million in a funding round led by Matrix Partners India and SAIF Partners in June had said that it would be using the funds expand nationwide.

– Other competitors include Fabhotels, Zen Rooms, Zip Rooms, Vista Rooms and RoomOnCall.

Image Credit: Cleartrip