Treebo Hotels has launched an app called Hero which will let intermediaries sell hotel rooms directly to possible Treebo customers. These intermediaries include rickshaw and cab drivers, individual agents, shopkeepers and professionals operating at the airports, railway stations and bus stands.
Treebo says that this move will help it “tap into a new customer segment” which traditionally trusts and transacts with the intermediaries. Outside of these intermediaries, the app is open to sign up with for anyone.
The Hero app claims that its users can find and book a hotel in 3 clicks. However, we could not proceed to this stage since after signing up, the app says that it will “call you within 24 hours and activate your account.” Apparently, a user can also set how much commission they’d like to earn from that sale.
Treebo was founded by Sidharth Gupta, Rahul Chaudhary, and Kadam Jeet Jain in 2015. It claims to have 10,000 available rooms in 400 hotels across 85 cities. In June, the company acquired Events High, a marketplace for events and activities, for an undisclosed amount, to offer events and activities.
Funding: Last month, it raised $34 million (Rs 220 crore) in a Series C funding round led by Ward Ferry Management and Karst Peak Capital. It has previously raised $16.7 million in a Series B funding in July 2017 and $6 million in a Series A funding in June 2015.
Layoffs at Treebo: In July, Treebo laid off 80 employees, around 10% of its total workforce at that time. “It is unfortunate that our commitment towards the economic health of the larger organisation has translated into us parting ways with some of our valued colleagues,” the company said in a statement.
Hotel booking has become a crowded and intensely competitive space in India. There are a number of players which offer online hotel booking like FabHotels, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Airbnb, to OTAs like MakeMyTrip-GoIbibo, Yatra, and Cleartrip. Recently, fintech major Paytm acquired Delhi-based hotel booking platform NightStay for $20 Million. Treebo’s most direct competitor is Oyo, which claims that it is India’s largest hospitality company, with around 8,500 hotel partnerships, some of which it plays a direct role in managing. Treebo has less than a tenth of the number of hotels.