Only a month after having OYO back on its platform, MakeMyTrip (MMT) will reportedly buy a stake in the company, reports The Economic Times. MMT will also delist OYO’s competitors like FabHotels and Treebo Hotel, from its travel bookings platform.
MMT has three online travel booking brands—MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Redbus. Of these, Redbus only offers bus bookings while the other two offer blanket travel and hotel booking services.
Both MMT and OYO Rooms declined to comment when Medianama reached out to them. However, Treebo cofounder Sidharth Gupta confirmed the development to The Economic Times, saying that the company will continue to work with the other major online travel operators, as well capitalise on its strong direct offline and online channels.
Notably, up until about a month ago, OYO was not featured on MMT’s platforms after it was delisted in 2015 from its two platforms. Yatra also delisted OYO in 2015, but renewed partnership in 2017.
OYO Rooms is diversifying its revenue model from hotel aggregation to a self-operated hotel brand Townhouse. As the travel segment grows, competition is likely to get tougher. Google has also announced that it will now allow users to compare and book hotels via its search page directly. Such service was earlier only offered by online travel agents. The partnership between MMT and OYO could be a strategy to strengthen their hold in the space.
Just last week, MakeMyTrip announced a partnership with Flipkart where the online travel agent’s three brands MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus will leverage the large customer base of Flipkart platform to drive online bookings in travel services. The new partnership will start with a roll-out of domestic flight bookings in the next few weeks, followed by Hotels, Bus and Holidays bookings.
In line with its plans to expand rapidly, OYO Rooms also acquired service apartment operator Novascotia Boutique Homes, in its first major purchase. Negotiations for the deal began in October 2017 and concluded in February this year. The buyout was estimated to be worth nearly US $1 million or about Rs 6.71 crore. The startup is backed by SoftBank and secured a funding of $250 million (Rs 1600 crore) in a Series D round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.