6 Virtual Hotel Operator Startups; Solution for Cheap Rooms
Virtual hotel operator startups sector is one of the most advanced sectors in the startup ecosystem. That’s because this startup provides cheap room service with adequate facilities. Many millennials take advantage of this opportunity to vacation on a budget.
With a hotel startup, saving a budget on a vacation is no longer a dream. You can go on vacation anywhere without having to think about a large amount of money just for lodging rooms.
Since the advent of OYO in the Indonesian startup ecosystem, similar startups have begun to emerge. The more hotel startups, the more community choices. Before deciding to take a vacation, it never hurts if you know the list of hotel startups in question.
The trend of cheap hotel rooms that is increasingly mushrooming is also caused by the ease of technology to book lodging. It also made Indonesia a lucrative field for technology-based startup businesses in the hotel sector.
The VHO phenomenon has developed rapidly over the past 5 years. Since 2012 until now, various budget hotel startups have existed in Indonesia. Some are indeed developed by the children of the nation, some are from other countries.
Popular Virtual Hotel Operator Startups
1. OYO Rooms
Around 2014, a startup called OYO Rooms emerged that tried to become an aggregator of cheap hotels in India. Starting a business in Gurgaon, OYO Rooms can immediately expand to ten cities in its first six months.
Until now, they have received funding several times from famous investors, ranging from Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia, to Softbank. The total nominal investment they announced has even reached US $ 187 million (around IDR 2.5 trillion).
2. Nida Rooms
Nida Rooms is a startup that was founded by Kanesh Avili since September 2015. Kanesh himself is an experienced in the aviation business and has worked at Air Asia, Tiger Airlines, Spice Jet, and Garuda Indonesia.
According to Kanesh, he got the idea to establish a cheap hotel aggregator service after learning that the average hotel room that is filled throughout the year is only about sixty percent of all available rooms. At present, Nida Rooms has operations in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and has worked with around four thousand hotels.
In December 2015, they managed to get seed funding for US $ 1.5 million (around Rp20 billion). After that, they returned to Pre Series A investment of US $ 4.2 million (around Rp56.7 billion) in April 2016.
Tinggal is a cheap hotel aggregator startup that was founded by Arjun Chopra in February 2016. Since its establishment, Tinggal has had a close relationship with a similar startup from India, Wudstay. They even started the business with the help of technical and operational knowledge from Wudstay.
Prafulla Mathur, who is the founder of Wudstay himself, is an investor who led an initial funding of US $ 1 million (about Rp. 13 billion) to stay. Mangrove Capital Partners, Simile Ventures, and co-founder of Nimbuzz Vikas Saxena also participated in this investment.
Currently, Tinggal has operated in Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Malang. They have also collaborated with hundreds of hotels that all provide breakfast and free wifi.
In order to enter the cheap hotel booking business in Southeast Asia, Rocket Internet also launched Zenrooms in November 2015. Planning to directly operate in three countries, Zenrooms was only able to be present in Indonesia at the beginning of its appearance.
In March 2016, they were able to successfully expand into Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. In Indonesia, Zenrooms have operated in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Bogor, Surabaya, Batam, Lombok, Makassar and Malang.
Zenrooms promises all rooms that are incorporated into their platforms can provide clean rooms, wireless internet networks, air conditioning, and bathrooms in the room.
His experience in making an online booking system for hotel owners makes Amit Saberwal aware that there are opportunities in the cheap hotel business. That is what prompted Amit to later establish Reddoorz in July 2015.
On 30 September 2015, they also managed to get Pre Series A funding with an unspecified nominal from Jungle Ventures. This investment was complemented by other Pre Series A funding they received on January 20, 2016.
This time, they got fresh funds from 500 Startups. In the country, Reddoorz has provided various hotel rooms in the cities of Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, and Surabaya.
6. Zuzu Hotels
Zuzu Hotels is a startup created by two former Expedia employees, Dan Lynn and Vikram Malhi. Both of them took advantage of their experience working on the hotel booking and flight ticket sites to build Zuzu Hotels in three countries, namely Taiwan, India and Indonesia.
This startup claims that they can increase the income of the hotel owners who work with them by thirty to fifty percent. Some criteria that must be met by their partner hotels are clean and safe rooms, the presence of wifi, and affordable prices.
Become a Startup Sector that Directly Affected by the Pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic that occurred in 2020 directly affected the hotel business in the world. Cheap hotel startups are also affected by it. In fact, AiryRooms (one of the cheap hotel startups) was forced to stop operating because they could not survive being hit by a pandemic.
However, the OYO Hotels and Homes Indonesia accommodation network specifically allocates one of its hotels to be a place to stay while medical personnel struggle to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company hopes this facility can be one of the solutions amid the concerns of medical staff who are forced to keep their distance from family or closest relatives because they interact directly with positive patients with COVID-19 every day.
The accommodation provision initiative is targeted at staff and medical personnel in one of the referral hospitals for handling COVID-19, the Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) Gatot Soebroto.
Although it is not easy, there are still many cheap hotel startups that are trying to survive in the middle of the pandemic storm. That’s because they hope when the pandemic is over, virtual hotel operator startups can get back up and grow rapidly.
(Read also: 6 Attractive Startup Office Designs in Indonesia )