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Microsoft mulls investment in Indian hotel startup Oyo

The deal may involve Oyo shifting its services onto Azure

Microsoft is reportedly considering investing in Indian hotel startup Oyo, as the multinational hospitality chain begins to recover from the pandemic.

The tech giant is in “advanced stages of talks” to invest in the company, valuing Oyo at around $9 billion, according to Techcrunch. The size of the investment is unclear, although a source told the publication the deal may close as soon as today.

The deal may also involve Oyo, a Softbank-backed startup, shifting to use Microsoft’s cloud services, according to sources.

In recent years, Oyo has expanded into a number of other markets including Europe, Southeast Asia, and the US. However, in March last year, the company said it would fire 5,000 people from its global workforce as it tried to cut its spending and improve profitability as nations across the world implemented lockdowns.

At a recent virtual conference, CEO Ritesh Agarwal said the startup had between $780 to $800 million in its bank and had pared its “monthly burn” across its business to $4 to $5 million. Earlier this month, Oyo raised $660 million in funding which was to be used for pairing debt and other business investments, according to Business Standard.

Last month, Agarwal told CNBC that its daily bookings for the summer season more than doubled in Europe, thanks to a high vaccination rate in the region.

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In May, Chinese digital retail firm Hanshow announced it would use Microsoft’s technology to expand globally, undergo digital transformation, and produce cloud-based software for its clients around the world. Hanshow was set to adopt Microsoft Azure through the collaboration while prioritising Microsoft’s technology in its products to retail clients. Hanshow said this would allow it to unify its global information systems, improve efficiency and security, and enhance the company’s competitiveness.

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