India: Hospitality chain OYO Hotels & Homes has seen its valuation reportedly rebound to over $9 billion, following a US$7.4 million [540 million Indian rupees] Series F1 funding round earlier this year.
The funding round was completed in January and was led by Hindustan Media Venture. OYO said it would use the funding to strengthen its technology stack in order to enhance its partner and customer experience.
It comes after OYO’s valuation dropped from $10 billion in November 2019 to $8 billion last year as the effects of the global pandemic became clear.
To date, the chain has raised in the region of $3.2 billion in capital across 17 funding rounds led by 23 investors, including the likes of SoftBank Vision Fund, Airbnb, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, and Hero Enterprise.
Despite that, OYO was forced to lay off or furlough a significant portion of its global workforce last year [including making at least 90 per cent of its US team redundant] and restructure its business in Japan, after posting escalating losses in consecutive years.
OYO extended the furlough period for its employees in September until February 2021 and provided a Voluntary Separation Programme [VSP], through which employees would be provided with financial assistance, relaxation on ESOP vesting, health insurance coverage, and career transition support, according to Inc42.
However, in a further cost-cutting exercise this month, the chain let go of 150 employees from its ancillary unit finance shared services to research and consultancy firm, KPMG.
Back in January, it claimed to have had $1 billion in cash and cash equivalent to help the chain emerge successfully from the pandemic, although its international expansion plans are being scaled back, particularly in the United States, Europe and Latin America.