Startup Street: Oyo Rooms Finds A Home Away From Home
One Indian startup flies beyond borders while a foreign startup comes to India. Here’s what was buzzing this week on Startup Street.
Oyo Sets Up Shop In The Land Of Everest
Oyo Rooms has launched services in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, marking its second trip to a foreign territory.
This comes a year after Oyo decided to go global by starting its first offshore operation in Malaysia. The budget hotel network has now grown to around 200 hotels in the Southeast Asian country.
To start with Oyo will have just one property in Kathmandu. Nepal has emerged as a popular destination for Indians. The highest number of tourists visiting Nepal last year were Indians, according to data released by the Nepal government’s Department of Immigration.
The start-up hasn’t said how it intends to fund its expansion plans. However, recently, a report in the Times of India said that Oyo Rooms is closing in a $250 million funding round from its existing investor SoftBank.
India's Co-Working Office Startups Now Have A Foreign Rival
Amsterdam based co-working office space provider ‘Spaces’ has entered India with its first facility in Cyber City, Gurugram.
Spaces, like others in this segment, provides shared offices for people usually not employed in the same organisations. The co-working space concept has been gaining popularity with the rising number of technology startups and small and medium enterprises.
The Gurugram workspace will be the 25th facility for Spaces globally. It aims to set up its next workspace in Chennai, and is likely to expand to 50 more locations in the next few months, an emailed media statement said.
Spaces' entry comes at a time when Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a domestic shared workspace provider, has raised $20 million from the Indian arm of Sequoia Capital. Awfis plans to expand to over 100 centres in the next 24 months, according to their media statement.
The Government Push For Startups
The government has extended the Startups Intellectual Property Protection Scheme for three more years till 2020. The scheme, which was introduced on a trial basis, expired at the end of March.
As per the scheme, the government would bear the entire cost of facilitation for filing patents by startups, a Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) statement said. This was among a slew of initiatives, including tax benefits, that the government had announced last year under its Startup India action plan.
Not just that, the government is also eyeing putting in place a fast-track resolution system for startups and small companies under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, according to a report by wire agency PTI. This will provide a faster exit mechanism for certain startups who are unable to repay the money they owe.
The DIPP has also promised the launch of a dedicated LinkedIn styled portal for startups. "The soft launch of the portal has already been made to get views from all the stakeholders. The hard launch will be done shortly," Aastha Grover, advisor (start-up), DIPP said at a seminar for startups organised by StartFed and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
In Case You Missed It...
- Did you know you can now buy gold through Paytm? Find out more here.
- Google Local Guides has teamed up with Swiggy and put out a list of restaurant recommendations. Hungry or not, you can scroll through it on Swiggy’s blog.
- China's Uber equivalent Didi Chuxing raised over $5.5 billion from investors, making it the largest round of funding ever for a technology company.
- Meanwhile, Uber discussed the possibility of flying taxis. Check it out!
- Also, a Swedish startup is using artificial intelligence to communicate with and understand dolphins. Cool, right? Read the full article here.