Apr 1, 2023
India’s Oyo Makes a Second Try for IPO After Valuation Slumps
(Bloomberg) -- Oyo Hotels filed fresh documents for an initial public offering in India, facing a challenging market for startup debuts after technology valuations declined.
The company has filed its IPO prospectus with Indian authorities, it said in an announcement in the Financial Express newspaper Saturday, without disclosing the amount it seeks, other financial details or advisers. In its original effort to go public in 2021, Oyo had filed to raise 84.3 billion rupees ($1 billion).
Founder Ritesh Agarwal, 29, has been working to put the hotels and lodging operation back on steady footing after the Covid pandemic eliminated global travel and led to yawning losses. India’s answer to Airbnb had been valued at $10 billion in 2019, but SoftBank Group Corp., the company’s largest backer, marked down that figure to $2.7 billion last year.
The IPO filing is Oyo’s second attempt to go public, after India’s stock market regulator raised multiple red flags on its earlier try in late 2021. Since then, valuations of technology companies have declined after accelerating inflation and rising interest rates left customers with less to spend and raised concerns of a potential recession.
The company had targeted a valuation of about $9 billion last year and updated its IPO documents in early 2022, but the goal now could be roughly one third the earlier target, Bloomberg News has reported. Oyo’s IPO valuation is expected to be finalized through a book-building process nearer to the listing.
SoftBank-Backed Oyo to Reduce Planned IPO Amid Tech Headwinds
Agarwal dropped out of college in his teens to travel across the country and founded the Gurgaon-headquartered Oyo in 2013. He dreamed up the business as a way to standardize the hotel stay experience in a developing market like India, delivering premium linens and high-speed internet service under the banner of the brand’s bright red OYO logo.
Agarwal had to pull back from certain overseas markets and cut staff during the Covid pandemic. He also shifted away from the asset-heavy, capital-intensive business model and turned his focus to building technology as a service.
--With assistance from Devidutta Tripathy and P R Sanjai.
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