Google’s Anandan, Freshworks’ Mathrubootham back Vista Rooms

Mumbai-based Stay Vista Pvt. Ltd, which operates budget hotel aggregator Vista Rooms, has raised a little over Rs 5 crore ($776,000) in pre-Series A funding from a bunch of investors including seed-stage investor Artha India Ventures, Singularity Holdings and online funding platform LetsVenture, a top company executive told VCCircle.

Google India head Rajan Anandan and Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham also invested in the startup in their individual capacity. Singapore Angel Network also put in money.

Ankita Sheth, co-founder of Vista Rooms, said the funds will primarily be used to run the fully-managed property business of the venture while a part of it will be spent on ramping up the technology team and marketing. “We are already on road to achieving profitability and breakeven within the next four quarters. The current round of funding will help us achieve that,” she said.

After it hits breakeven, the company will look to raise a big-ticket Series A round of close to $10 million next year, Sheth added.

The startup had last raised about Rs 1.5 crore in seed funding in December 2015, from a clutch of investors.

Founded in 2015 by former head of acquisitions at OYO Rooms Sheth, Amit Damani and Pranav Maheshwari, Vista Rooms aggregates hotel inventory across affordable, budget and luxury categories.

“While we track the real prices of the inventory and do give pricing advantage, we have never indulged in deep discounting,” Sheth said.

Hotels listed on Vista Rooms offer standardised services like complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and clean bed linen, says its website. Properties on its platform are audited and checked on more than 20 quality parameters, it claims. Users can book rooms through the company’s website, over phone as well as through select online travel agents.

The startup, which has offices in Mumbai and Colombo, has more than 1,000 properties on its platform across over 100 locations in India and 30 locations in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Vista Rooms competes with the likes of OYO Rooms, the best-funded player in the space having raised more than $190 million from SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, DSG Consumer Partners and InnoVen Capital, among others.

The online accommodation-booking space has been in the news for both shutdowns and fundraising recently. Last month, VCCircle reported that Delhi-based NightStay, a mobile-based marketplace for last-minute hotel bookings, raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round led by Indian Angel Network and LetsVenture.

In the same month, Mumbai-based Instant Hotels Around You Pvt. Ltd, which operated the HotelsAroundYou online platform that allowed room bookings at the last minute, ceased operations.

In February, Stayzilla, which had raised close to $30 million from investors such as Nexus Venture Partners and Matrix Partners, said it was halting operations.

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