Hospitality firm OYO is raising a strategic round of investment from global technology giant Microsoft at a valuation of $9 billion, according to sources privy to the development.
The size of the round couldn't immediately be ascertained, however the final closure may happen in a few weeks.
The company already has Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab and US-based hospitality firm Airbnb as strategic investors.
This happens soon after the Softbank-backed homegrown firm announced closure of a debt financing round of $660 million from global institutional investors such as Fidelity Investments, Citadel Capital Management and Varde Partners with an aim to retire some of its existing debts and pump up its operations and product technology.
This fund raise is happening as the firm gears up for an initial public offering. In an interaction with Moneycontrol on July 17, group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Abhishek Gupta said that the company was working on the readiness for an IPO.
"As you know, there's a lot of nuts and bolts and background work that needs to be done. Our audit committee and board has asked us to be ready for the public market event by the end of this year and after that it will be a combination of looking at the overall COVID recovery, the market appetite, market readiness as well as our internal readiness. We have not put a time or date," Gupta said.
The company declined to comment on the latest development.
OYO, which has faced the brunt of the pandemic, is waiting to regain the lost market. Once the travel market sees correction there is a likelihood that the value of the companies in this space is going to go up.
It seems international firms are placing their bets early on to ensure a strong positioning.
OYO currently has over 100,000 hotel partners across 80 countries.
Microsoft has already invested in a bunch of leading internet companies in India including Flipkart where it entered in 2017.
The Economic Times was the first to report about this investment.