Microsoft may invest in Oyo, one of the world's largest hotel chains

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is reportedly in talks to invest in Oyo, a major hotel chain based in India.
  • The potential investment from Microsoft could proceed Oyo going public.
  • The deal could go through as soon as today, according to those close to the situation.

Microsoft is in talks to invest in Oyo, one of the world's largest hotel chains, according to a report by TechCrunch. Oyo is valued at $9 billion, according to people familiar with the situation that spoke with TechCrunch. The amount of Microsoft's potential investment has not been reported at this time.

Oyo was founded in 2013. It is now one of the largest hotel chains in India and the sixth-largest hotel chain in the world, according to its CEO Ritish Agarwai. The hotel giant is also considering going public, according to Agarwai.

Reports indicate that investment from Microsoft would come before Oyo's initial public offering (IPO). TechCrunch reports that a deal could close as early as today (July 30, 2021). Reuters states that the deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

Part of Microsoft's deal with Oyo could involve the hotel chain moving to Microsoft's cloud services, according to TechCrunch.

Oyo has come under criticism in the past for some of its alleged practices. A report by The New York Times alleged that the hotel chain used questionable practices to expand. The chain allegedly listed rooms that weren't available in order to increase its number of listings.

The New York Times also reported that Oyo would give police and other officials free accommodation to avoid issues.

Neither Microsoft nor Oyo's CEO has issued statements on any potential investment.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

3 Comments
  • Well this is weird. Sounds like a quid pro quo (the chain goes with MS services in exchange for the investment) that only makes sense for MS because they expect capital gains from the investment. I have no idea if that's even legal. But whatever the case, why the hell else would a $2T tech company invest in a hotel chain, even if it's a growing one? Is there some sort of cockamamie WeWork idea in the works? Maybe something about innovations around conference events? This is weird all around. BTW, corruption in India and many other fast-growing or middle-income countries is nothing new, and it's horrible. Not that we in Western countries should tolerate corruption, but it's on another level elsewhere.
  • I can't say for certain related to this potential investment. I will say that Microsoft works hard to get companies from all sorts of industries to use Microsoft for the cloud. For example, I believe Pepsi uses Microsoft's cloud. I imagine that Microsoft wants to do whatever it can to get all industries to move to Azure and other Microsoft services.
  • MS has done tbis before.
    Most recently they threw GAMESTOP a lifeline to help them reengineer their business (and move to AZURE) and decades ago they gave Apple $250M to keep the Mac (and Office for Mac sales) alive. The jokes about "The Bank of Microsoft" aren't unfounded. It's not charity. Just that when your cash stash gets big enough you have to find ways of putting it to work productively. A lot of big companies have venture capital and investment sidelines. Here, check this: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://howardlindzon.com/the-bank-of-micro...