Food is an important aspect for the hospitality business: Ritesh Agarwal

We are very thankful to have a broad group of shareholders whether it is Sequoia, Lightspeed, the Munjal Family, Grab, Didi and of course, Softbank …

Hospitality firm Oyo recently closed a $1 billion round of funding backed by its existing Japan-based investor Softbank, Chinese cab-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and Singapore-based ride services provider Grab.

Interestingly, both Didi and Grab also have Softbank as an investor on their respective boards.

Edited excerpts:

Q. So you have Softbank, Grab and Didi as new investors, all of whom have aSoftbank connect. Was this a conscious effort?

A.Ritesh Agarwal: We don’t typically differentiate it that way. We are very thankful to have a broad group of shareholders whether it is Sequoia, Lightspeed, the Munjal Family, Grab, Didi and of course, Softbank Vision Fund. All of them have been great partners for us.

We look at every investor from the lens of the value they can add to us. For instance, when the Munjal family participated in it (round of funding), I think the view that we took was their incredible depth of understanding of the Indian consumer from running world’s largest two-wheeler company. Or if you think about the size of capital (close to $100 million) which was invested by Sequoia and Lightspeed, it showcased to us that even our early stage investors who generally do not invest in this size of capital raises, were investing pretty aggressively.

So our view is that we are lucky to have a broad range of capital table, but at the same time, having a connected relationship within companies is only a good thing. That ways Sequoia is also an investor in Didi. We do not view these very differentially. We view every shareholder on their own merit.

Q. Oyo plans to invest $200 million in India and South Asia market, with $600 earmarked for the China market. Where would the rest of the money go?

A. For a timeline of one calendar year, a $200 million investment India is the only one on the cards, with all the other figures being allocations for multiple markets.

Q. The company has been in the news for getting into the food business. In what forms and manner will that happen? Will it only be for the guests staying at Oyo or you are also considering moving into the food delivery space?

A. Today Oyo is a full scale hotel operator. Now hotels would have accommodation, food, banqueting as three of the key facilities. We already run F&Bs in over 500 of our buildings across the country and as we run them, we are increasingly seeing that this is an important part for the customer in terms of experience. People love great home cooked meals. But at the same time, it (food and beverages) also contributes upto 25 percent of our revenue share in some of our brands. Which means there’s a large enough impact it can create for us. Now with that said, we are very focused on our in-hotel, in-room dining sort of an experience at this point in time. If we do consider to distribute our food produce in a different way, we will let you know in the future but our mindset remains that of the real estate operator and the food producer for now.

On whether we will make the same for people in the neighborhood by means of third party distribution … Once we have a view on that we will absolutely share it with you.

Q. Can you confirm the report that Oyo is in talks to acquire FreshMenu?

A. It is part of our policy that we do not respond on any speculation but if we acquire any company I assure you will reach out to you.

Q. Over the last couple of years, the brand has expanded in many different ways. Where do you see Oyo going from here in the next couple of years? What sort of an expansion is lined up in the next couple of years in how the brand would look like?

A. When we started Oyo hotels, we actually started as a full scale hotel operator but as you may remember in 2015, we also started aggregating some assets. Early 2016 was the year when we basically said that we will be a full scale hotel operator and since then that has been the single focus area that we have had.

Now any full scale hotel operator worldwide has a value proposition. The franchise hotel, leased hotel carry out management contracts. They send general managers to every hotel, some buildings put up with capex, and the asset owner puts capex in other buildings. Some buildings have a single brand and corporations have a multi-brand strategy.

So from our view, our mission will continue to be the same, which is being able to make sure we bring great quality product at lowest prices, building a full scale hotel operator in years to come. So by 2023, we will evolve into becoming the world’s largest hotel operator. We believe in making sure that we deliver better spaces for people who come to us. Hence every business that we operate follows the same philosophy, that is, upgrade the space that existed earlier so that is sort of how you will see the brand evolve in the years in terms of brand.

Q. What has been the growth in your real estate business. Given that these are mostly new properties, wherein the infrastructure is good and less capex is required are these properties giving Oyo a good return on the money?

A. So we break it into two parts, the first part is this (Oyo’s business) is fundamentally real estate, given that we operate buildings worldwide. But within the real estate business, the specific bit that I think you are referring to is the green field real estate. That is just land that is getting constructed. In that specific area there is a very interesting opportunity.

We already are seeing roughly 15 percent of our portfolio in India and South primarily being new builds. The new builds are seeing very interesting traction because a lot of people who bought land during the economic real estate boom in India have the land but they are uncertain of getting a yield on something they construct. Now with Oyo Townhouse or Oyo Hotels, they get a indication of securing get good yields. Which makes it relatively much easier for them to go and construct the buildings for us.

Q. Last time we also discussed about malls and high rise buildings which weren’t doing well so the owners wanted to make them into an Oyo. How’s that business doing?

A. So far we haven’t done any malls. However, there are a lot of high rises that have become Oyo’s especially because of Oyo Life as an product that we have. Oyo Life primarily operates in long term housing that ensures that we can operate very actively in that segment which is primarily for residential high-rises but at the same time there are a large number of mixed land-use high-rises for which we have signed multiple projects under Silver Key executive apartments and other executive apartments businesses. We have high-rises primarily in long term housing scheme but there are some high rises which are essentially service apartments. There are service apartment brands is the leading opportunity.

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Dailyhunt Strengthens its Leadership Team, Appoints Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer

Dailyhunt’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Bytedance. Do visit www.dailyhunt.in. PWR PWR.

(Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) New Delhi, Delhi, India – Business Wire India •

Hires Bharat Zende as Director – Strategic Accounts from YouTube and Surabhi Mishra as Director – Client Solutions from Facebook•

Company aims to hit the advertising led revenue run-rate to the tune of $100 million by 2020 Dailyhunt, India’s #1 news and local language content discovery platform, today announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Sunil will be based in Bengaluru and report to Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt. In his new role as CRO, he will be leading all revenue-related teams across the Dailyhunt group comprising of top strategic accounts, large enterprise accounts, mid-market, national and state government business and ad networks. The move comes in the wake of Dailyhunt’s continued leadership as India’s undisputed leader in news and regional language content. The Dailyhunt group has 206 million monthly active users, and the Dailyhunt platform has 153 million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is more than 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 billion-page views of content and more than two billion video views per month. Sunil comes with a proven track record of working in the computer software industry over the last 25 years. In the last assignment at Adobe, Sunil was driving the large-scale adoption of Adobe Cloud solutions in the South Asia region spanning businesses across the enterprise, mid-market, education, the government and the public sector segments. Prior to that, he was the Country Manager at Hewlett-Packard leading Alliances and HP Technology Services. Before HP, he was the General Manager at Sun Microsystems managing East India. Early in this career, Sunil worked for Patni Computer Systems in an overall P&L role. Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt said, “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Sunil to Dailyhunt. Sunil’s two and a half decade-long experience in scaling businesses and a perfect sales track record is an ideal fit with our exponential growth plans. I am excited and look forward to partnering closely with him on our journey going forward. Also, want to take the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Bharat and Surabhi to the Dailyhunt family as well.” Sunil Mohapatra, Chief Revenue Officer said, “I am really thrilled to join Dailyhunt. I find myself naturally aligned with Dailyhunt as I also hail from small-town India. With Dailyhunt’s ability to reach the real Bharat residing in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities, towns and villages, it is clearly emerging as one of the fastest growing companies in the digital media space in country. It has truly re-imagined news and local language content and is a breakout case-study in the Indian digital media ecosystem.” About Dailyhunt Dailyhunt is India’s #1, News and local language content discovery application which offers 250,000+ new news and content artifacts every-day in 14 languages licensed from over 1000+ publication partners. Our mission is to be ‘the Indic platform empowering a billion Indians to discover, consume and socialize with content that informs, enriches and entertain’. The Dailyhunt group has 206 Million monthly active users and Dailyhunt platform has 153 Million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 Billion-page views of content and 2 Billion+ video views per month. It’s unique machine learning and deep learning technology enables smart curation of content and tracks user preferences to deliver real-time, personalised content and notifications. Dailyhunt app is available on Android, iOS & Windows platforms and on mobile web as well. Dailyhunt’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Bytedance. Do visit www.dailyhunt.in. PWRPWR

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Dailyhunt strengthens leadership team

Dailyhunt, India’s #1 news and local language content discovery platform, today announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue …
DailyHunt

Dailyhunt announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

Dailyhunt, India’s #1 news and local language content discovery platform, today announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

  • Hires Bharat Zende as Director – Strategic Accounts from YouTube and Surabhi Mishra as Director – Client Solutions from Facebook
  • Company aims to hit the advertising led revenue run-rate to the tune of $100 million by 2020

Dailyhunt, India’s #1 news and local language content discovery platform, today announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Sunil will be based in Bengaluru and report to Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt.

In his new role as CRO, he will be leading all revenue-related teams across the Dailyhunt group comprising of top strategic accounts, large enterprise accounts, mid-market, national and state government business and ad networks.

The move comes in the wake of Dailyhunt’s continued leadership as India’s undisputed leader in news and regional language content. The Dailyhunt group has 206 million monthly active users, and the Dailyhunt platform has 153 million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is more than 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 billion-page views of content and more than two billion video views per month.

Sunil comes with a proven track record of working in the computer software industry over the last 25 years. In the last assignment at Adobe, Sunil was driving the large-scale adoption of Adobe Cloud solutions in the South Asia region spanning businesses across the enterprise, mid-market, education, the government and the public sector segments. Prior to that, he was the Country Manager at Hewlett-Packard leading Alliances and HP Technology Services. Before HP, he was the General Manager at Sun Microsystems managing East India. Early in this career, Sunil worked for Patni Computer Systems in an overall P&L role.

Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt said, “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Sunil to Dailyhunt. Sunil’s two and a half decade-long experience in scaling businesses and a perfect sales track record is an ideal fit with our exponential growth plans. I am excited and look forward to partnering closely with him on our journey going forward. Also, want to take the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Bharat and Surabhi to the Dailyhunt family as well.”

Sunil Mohapatra, Chief Revenue Officer said, “I am really thrilled to join Dailyhunt. I find myself naturally aligned with Dailyhunt as I also hail from small-town India. With Dailyhunt’s ability to reach the real Bharat residing in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities, towns and villages, it is clearly emerging as one of the fastest growing companies in the digital media space in country. It has truly re-imagined news and local language content and is a breakout case-study in the Indian digital media ecosystem.”

About Dailyhunt

Dailyhunt is India’s #1, News and local language content discovery application which offers 250,000+ new news and content artifacts every-day in 14 languages licensed from over 1000+ publication partners. Our mission is to be ‘the Indic platform empowering a billion Indians to discover, consume and socialize with content that informs, enriches and entertain’. The Dailyhunt group has 206 Million monthly active users and Dailyhunt platform has 153 Million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 Billion-page views of content and 2 Billion+ video views per month. It’s unique machine learning and deep learning technology enables smart curation of content and tracks user preferences to deliver real-time, personalised content and notifications. Dailyhunt app is available on Android, iOS & Windows platforms and on mobile web as well. Dailyhunt’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Bytedance.

Dailyhunt Strengthens its Leadership Team Appoints Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer

(Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the …

(Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.)

New Delhi, Delhi, India – Business Wire India

• Hires Bharat Zende as Director – Strategic Accounts from YouTube and Surabhi Mishra as Director – Client Solutions from Facebook

• Company aims to hit the advertising led revenue run-rate to the tune of $100 million by 2020

Dailyhunt, India’s #1 news and local language content discovery platform, today announced the appointment of Sunil Mohapatra as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Sunil will be based in Bengaluru and report to Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt.

In his new role as CRO, he will be leading all revenue-related teams across the Dailyhunt group comprising of top strategic accounts, large enterprise accounts, mid-market, national and state government business and ad networks.

The move comes in the wake of Dailyhunt’s continued leadership as India’s undisputed leader in news and regional language content. The Dailyhunt group has 206 million monthly active users, and the Dailyhunt platform has 153 million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is more than 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 billion-page views of content and more than two billion video views per month.

Sunil comes with a proven track record of working in the computer software industry over the last 25 years. In the last assignment at Adobe, Sunil was driving the large-scale adoption of Adobe Cloud solutions in the South Asia region spanning businesses across the enterprise, mid-market, education, the government and the public sector segments. Prior to that, he was the Country Manager at Hewlett-Packard leading Alliances and HP Technology Services. Before HP, he was the General Manager at Sun Microsystems managing East India. Early in this career, Sunil worked for Patni Computer Systems in an overall P&L role.

Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt said, “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Sunil to Dailyhunt. Sunil’s two and a half decade-long experience in scaling businesses and a perfect sales track record is an ideal fit with our exponential growth plans. I am excited and look forward to partnering closely with him on our journey going forward. Also, want to take the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Bharat and Surabhi to the Dailyhunt family as well.”

Sunil Mohapatra, Chief Revenue Officer said, “I am really thrilled to join Dailyhunt. I find myself naturally aligned with Dailyhunt as I also hail from small-town India. With Dailyhunt’s ability to reach the real Bharat residing in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities, towns and villages, it is clearly emerging as one of the fastest growing companies in the digital media space in country. It has truly re-imagined news and local language content and is a breakout case-study in the Indian digital media ecosystem.”

About Dailyhunt

Dailyhunt is India’s #1, News and local language content discovery application which offers 250,000+ new news and content artifacts every-day in 14 languages licensed from over 1000+ publication partners. Our mission is to be ‘the Indic platform empowering a billion Indians to discover, consume and socialize with content that informs, enriches and entertain’. The Dailyhunt group has 206 Million monthly active users and Dailyhunt platform has 153 Million monthly active users. The time spent per daily active user is 27 minutes per user per day consuming over 15 Billion-page views of content and 2 Billion+ video views per month. It’s unique machine learning and deep learning technology enables smart curation of content and tracks user preferences to deliver real-time, personalised content and notifications. Dailyhunt app is available on Android, iOS & Windows platforms and on mobile web as well. Dailyhunt’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Bytedance. Do visit www.dailyhunt.in. PWR

PWR

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Exclusive: Sequoia, Lightspeed and Matrix putting $10 Mn seed fund in EkAnek

Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed and Matrix Partners have put in $10 million seed round in EkAnek Networks, said two sources aware with the transaction.

Influencer marketing has gradually been gaining grounds in India as brands started seeing it as a medium to reach and engage millennials. The new marketing tool comprising of celebrities and the rising class of micro-influencers has been leveraged by many lifestyles, fashion and FMCG brands to target consumers/users more effectively.

In spite of the growing demand for influencers and appetite for them from brands, startups working in the nascent segment haven’t seen any institutional (venture capital) backing. However, this is not the case anymore.

Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed and Matrix Partners are putting in $10 million seed round in EkAnek Networks, said two sources aware with the transaction. “The deal materialised last month at an estimated valuation of $25 million,” said the sources on condition of anonymity.

As per the latest RoC filings of the company with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, approximately $5.7 million (Rs 40.14 crore) has already been committed. In a Board Resolution passed a day ago, the company is issuing 4 equity shares and 60,480 Series A CCPS both at a price of Rs 6,637.7 each.

Lightspeed is co-leading the tranche with 21,883 CCPS and 1 equity share worth Rs 14.53 crore altogether. Sequoia investing through two of its entities is also pouring in the same amount via 2 equity and 21,881 CCPS, effectively taking the lead along with Lightspeed.

Matrix is another major investor pouring in Rs 9.68 crore via 14,859 CCPS and 1 equity share. A slew of Angel investors including Bhavin Kothari, Srini Gopalan, Rajan Anandan, and Anandakrishnan Chandrasekaran have invested a total of Rs 1.06 crore. The remaining amount was contributed by QED Innovation Labs and Crimsn Holdings.

Led by Kartik Sheth and Chandranshu – EkAnek focuses on building the ecosystem for new age brands in lifestyle categories through creating influencer networks, commerce platforms, and other support infrastructure.

Responding to Entrackr’s queries, Sheth had said that it’s not true. Nevertheless, EkAnek’s overview on LinkedIn mentions, “We are well funded by three top-tier Venture Capital firms and have a runway for the next 2-3 years.”

Sources indicate that the company has been working with a handful of clients at the moment. “Besides creating content and connecting influencers, it’s also building a platform where brands can sell with the integration of all required services,” added one of the above sources.

The remaining $4.3 million would be followed in another tranche primarily from the three VCs, added sources.

Previously, Kartik had led innovations at Airtel which included the nationwide launch of 4G and content apps such as Wynk Music and Airtel TV. Chandranshu had extensively worked with startups including OfBusiness, Lime Labs, Trilogy Consulting and several others.

Queries sent to Sequoia Capital for confirmation didn’t elicit an immediate response while Lightspeed declined to offer any comment. Matrix couldn’t be reached out for a comment immediately.

Over the past 12-18 months, firms choose influencer-marketing for better reach, engagement, and storytelling. According to a study conducted by Gurugram-based influencer-marketing firm Buzzoka, most companies spent between 5 to 7 per cent of their overall marketing budgets on online influencers.

Several startups like EkAnek also cropped up to tap the opportunity in the nascent but promising space. At present, OneImpression, Buzzoka, and Letsinfluence seem to be prominent influencer marketing firms. The aforementioned firms essentially act as a marketplace and persuade influencers on the brand’s behest.

Although influencer marketing has just started to gather some steam in India, it’s immensely popular in China and the West. Last year, Chinese influencer marketing sector was estimated to be worth about $18 billion. Influencers in China aren’t called influencers but Key Opinion Leaders or Wanghongs.

Ruhan Ecommerce and Mogu are leaders in China while Mavrck and Zorka.mobi are major influencing marketing platforms in the US and Russia respectively.

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