FTX Org Chart: Who is helping steer the second-biggest crypto exchange in the world?View Now

Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal. Photo by Bloomberg

How SoftBank-Backed Hotel Chain Oyo Lost Its Way in the U.S.

Photo: Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal. Photo by Bloomberg

Oyo Rooms’ 26-year-old CEO Ritesh Agarwal spent Christmas 2018 driving around Texas, meeting with owners of budget motels near interstate highways. Flush with cash from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the startup was looking to pay these motels for control of their marketing and sales—the same strategy that turned it into a hotel giant in India and China. 

But a year into its U.S. expansion, Oyo’s reality has fallen short of its grand ambitions. Having set a goal of signing at least 100,000 hotel rooms quickly—putting it on par with established names like Motel 6—it ended the year with just over 20,000 rooms. It ended up firing hundreds of salespeople around the U.S. In an interview with The Information, Agarwal said Oyo lost $50 million in the U.S. last year and acknowledged some mistakes in how the company expanded.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
My Life's Work culture
The Founder Who Escaped Deportation by Building a Business in 60 Days
Photo Sampei Omichi. Art by Clark Miller
It was early 2021 when Sampei Omichi’s deportation countdown started: He had 60 days left on his student visa before he would have to leave the country. The then–21-year-old’s only option was to found a startup to qualify for an international entrepreneur parole, which allows entrepreneurs to stay in the country for over two years— assuming, of course, he could raise...
Latest Briefs
 
Google Translate Not Available in China Anymore
Billionaire Founder of JD.com Settles Rape Allegation Lawsuit Before Trial
TikTok Plans to Launch Live Shopping Platform in U.S.
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Org Charts crypto
FTX Org Charts: Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire
FTX, the second-biggest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, has recently been dubbed a “central bank” of crypto as the firm—under the helm of co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried—emerged as a lender of last resort to struggling businesses amid the market meltdown.
google apple
The Metaverse Money Pit: How Meta’s $70 Billion Bet Compares to Tech’s Biggest Gambles
Is Meta Platforms’ $70 billion bet on the metaverse shaping up as the biggest money pit ever in tech?
Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive amazon cloud
Amazon’s Cross-Selling Team Scores Big With Top AWS Customers
Amazon Web Services has a pitch for major customers of its cloud server rentals: Want more Amazon with that?
Jim Gorman, Marc Andreessen, Elon Musk and Larry Ellison. Photos by Getty, Bloomberg.
electric vehicles
How Morgan Stanley CEO Buttered Up Elon Musk While Larry Ellison Brushed Him Off
Larry Ellison can keep Elon Musk waiting. But Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and a whole team of bankers need to do all they can to butter up the erratic billionaire.
Photo by Getty Images.
Exclusive culture electric vehicles
Tesla Makes Cash, Not Stock, the Default for Many Employees’ Compensation Awards
Tesla will start giving its employees cash grants as their default incentive to stick with the company, rather than the equity awards it has traditionally handed out, according to internal documents viewed by The Information.
Art by Clark Miller.
Market Research culture
Silicon Valley’s ‘Swag Gap’: A Colorful Rival Comes for Patagonia’s Abdicated Throne
Earlier this month, Peter Coats was milling about a block party in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood wearing one of his most discussed articles of clothing: a Cotopaxi windbreaker with army green and blue colorblocking across the chest and a barely visible Google logo on the sleeve.