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OYO, a new challenger in the UK hotel market?

OYO, India’s hybrid online company, is entering the UK market with a plan to open properties in 10 cities over the next 18 months.

According to Reuters, the company will use a franchising and marketing strategy in the hope of signing up 300 independent hotels.

This announcement marks the company’s first expansion outside of its South Asian where it has a presence in India, China, Malaysia and Nepal.

OYO is backed by high-profile investors including SoftBank Group, Greenoak Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group and has raised $450 million since it launched in 2013.

Also read: How does a college dropout transform his start-up into a disruptor for the traditional capital-weighed-down hospitality industry?

OYO’s first opening will be in London with four properties and it has plans for other cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

By 2020, the company intends to offer more than 5,000 rooms with an initial investment of $53 million (€45 million).

"The UK has been the topmost international travel destination for several years and last year hosted over 19 million tourists from around the world," said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO.

"Driven by its booming domestic and international travel and budget hospitality needs, the UK presents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for OYO. We are thrilled to now be able to offer OYO’s affordable, hassle-free and quality living experiences to guests across the UK," he said, "and to be empowering the UK independent hoteliers with the technology and operational expertise that helps them focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes."

Premier Inn, Travelodge and InterContinental Hotels Group are the dominant players in the UK market and OYO’s move can presents something of a threat.

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