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Masayoshi Son Leads $1 Billion Investment In Indian Hotel Startup

Softbank, the tech conglomerate founded by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, is leading a $1 billion investment in Indian hotel-booking startup OYO Hotels.

OYO Hotels, which is based in Gurgaon, India, announced on Tuesday that it has received $800 million in a round led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund. Some of the more prominent U.S. venture-capital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners also contributed to the round.

“Humbled to share that OYO Group has raised USD 1 billion. Humbled and honoured to be part of this incredible journey over the last five years building a full stack hospitality company,” OYO’s 24-year-old founder Ritesh Agarwal said on his Twitter page.

OYO is focusing on continuing its expansion into China. It also operates in Nepal, the U.K and Malaysia.

With this new round of funding, OYO is reportedly now valued at $5 billion, meaning that it might not be long before Ritesh Agarwal joins the league of the world’s youngest self-made tech billionaires along with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Speigel and Sean Parker.

Founded in 2013, OYO helps match small, independent hotels with new customers. The company started off by connecting Indian customers to budget hotels through its online platform. OYO also now competes with Airbnb by offering stays in private homes, and has even invested in its own line of hotels.

OYO is operational in 350 cities across five countries, with more than 125,000 rooms in India and over 87,000 rooms in China, where it launched in June. The company plans to channel close to 60% of its new capital into building its business in China.

Son Masayoshi has a current net worth of $17.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.