Angel investor and entrepreneur Pankaj Jain said no to investing in hotel startup OYO, twice.
Back then, OYO was just the ambitious idea of a 19-year-old entrepreneur, Ritesh Agarwal. Now, it’s India’s hotel startup market leader worth $5 billion, according to some reports.
“So I’m basically an idiot,” Jain said from New York, during a phone call with Crunchbase News.
OYO has raised so much money that the company is distorting India’s venture market, accounting for 92 percent of the past year’s total funding in India’s hospitality startups. The chart below shows venture funding in the past few years.
But OYO’s market and funding dominance doesn’t mean Jain and investors don’t have other options.
Jain, at least, has noticed people working on hospitality within India since 2007 because of a slew of issues with distribution and under utilization of resources.
So while “everyone piles into the one winner they see” because “no one wants to back a distant number two,” smaller startups in India’s hotel market are focusing on tourists craving an experiential, easy-going trip within India.
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