India’s Haptik acqui-hires Los Angeles startup Convrg in international expansion push

Mumbai-based Haptik, which operates a conversational AI platform, has already won several high-profile clients in India. Now the five-year-old firm, with newly found significant capital in the bank, is attempting to replicate its success in international markets. On Tuesday, Haptik announced it has acqui-hired Convrg, a Los Angeles-based startup that develops chatbots, to serve customers […]

India’s Oyo valued at $10B after founder purchases $2B in shares

The fast-growing Indian hospitality business Oyo has garnered a valuation of $10 billion after its founder, Ritesh Agarwal, purchased $2 billion in shares from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, the company announced Friday. Agarwal, 25, founded Oyo in 2013 at the age of 19. Following immense growth of the now global […]

India’s budget hotel startup Oyo enters co-working business with $30 million Innov8 acquisition

India’s Oyo has expanded its hotel chain business to over 80 countries and entered co-living spaces segment in recent years. The firm, which has raised about $1 billion since last September from several big names including Airbnb, has now identified a new business to target: co-working spaces. The Gurgaon-headquartered firm on Tuesday announced Oyo Workspaces that […]

Korean hotel platform Yanolja raises $180M at a valuation of over $1B

The travel tech industry has got another unicorn. Following the likes of Airbnb, OYO, Traveloka and Klook, Korea’s Yanolja said today it has closed a $180 million Series D round that takes it valuation beyond $1 billion. The investment is led by GIC, a Singapore sovereign wealth fund, and Booking Holdings, the U.S. firm behind […]

GetYourGuide picks up $484M, passes 25M tickets sold through its tourism activity app

As we swing into the summer tourist season, a company poised to capitalise on that has raised a huge round of funding. GetYourGuide — a Berlin startup that has built a popular marketplace for people to discover and book sightseeing tours, tickets for attractions and other experiences around the world — is today announcing that […]

Travel activities platform Klook raises $225M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

We recently noted that SoftBank’s Vision Fund has stepped up its deal-making in Asia this year, and today it added a new company to its roster: travel services platform Klook. Hong Kong-based Klook announced today that it has raised a $225 million round led by the Vision Fund with participation from existing investors. The deal […]

Startups Weekly: US companies raised $30B in Q1 2019

Let’s start this week’s newsletter with some data. Nationally, startups pulled in $30.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 22 percent year-on-year, according to Crunchbase’s latest deal round-up. A closer look at the numbers shows a big drop in angel funding and a slight decrease in mega-rounds, or financings larger than $100 million. […]

India’s OYO enters Japan in partnership with SoftBank

Fresh from closing a notable investment from Airbnb, India’s OYO has expanded its footprint into Japan. The move comes through a joint venture with investor SoftBank — which led OYO’s $1 billion round last year through its Vision Fund — which will cover hotel-based accommodation and home rentals. Financial details around the joint venture were […]

Airbnb confirms stake in India’s OYO, sources say it invested $150M-$200M

Airbnb is continuing to widen its focus beyond “unconventional” hotels as it gets ready for a much-anticipated IPO. Following its acquisition of HotelTonight last month, the company has picked today (April Fools’ Day) to confirm that it invested in India’s OYO — a startup that manages budget hotels and other stays. The deal has been […]

The Khashoggi murder isn’t stopping SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Money talks in the startup community, especially when SoftBank comes knocking with the megabucks of its Vision Fund. Despite the public outcry around the firm’s dependence on money from Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, deal flow for SoftBank’s Vision Fund appears to be back to […]