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Stayzilla to host homestays

Stayzilla claims to have about 25,000 rooms in this category, with the count estimated to increase to about 500,000 rooms in the next three years

At present, Stayzilla lets homeowners choose a guest on the basis of common interests and social, educational and professional connections.

Bengaluru: Stayzilla, an online aggregator of budget hotels, has forayed into home stays, connecting travellers with homeowners with spare accommodation in their houses. This move, which is in alignment with global major Airbnb’s business model, comes at a time when the budget hotel aggregation segment is heating up with the businesses like Oyo Rooms raising $100 million from investors.

The company expects this segment to account for about half of its revenues.

Stayzilla claims to have about 25,000 rooms in this category, with the count estimated to increase to about 500,000 rooms in the next three years. Overall, Stayzilla claims to service about 7,000 room nights a day across about 35,000 hotels in 4,500 towns in the country.

The company estimates there is a shortage of about 1 million rooms in the country.

"Today, India's stay market is large and fragmented, creating a huge opportunity for expansion and growth," said Yogendra Vasupal, founder and chief executive at Stayzilla. The company also launched a mobile app on Wednesday, which has the home stay option.

At present, Stayzilla lets homeowners choose a guest on the basis of common interests and social, educational and professional connections.

The company will also host budget hotel chains such as Ginger, Lemon Tree, Treebo, Zo Rooms and Zip among others on the platform in the next two to three months, said Vasupal.

The company, which was founded in 2005, has so far raised at least $20.5 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Matrix Partners.

Stayzilla faces competition from online travel aggregators such as MakeMyTrip and Yatra, who have forayed into this segment, which has better margins than ticket booking.

The online hotel booking segment has been on a boom of late. Oyo Rooms recently raised $100 million from SoftBank, while So Rooms raised $30 million from Tiger Global Management and Orios Venture Partners. Treebo Hotels raised about $6 million from SAIF Partners and Matrix Partners India.

source : http://www.livemint.com/Companies/vUHasgc0BFqyOAnnM4nWyL/Stayzilla-to-host-homestays.html

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