Few angel investors have exited from Chennai-based Inasra Technologies Pvt Ltd, the startup behind budget hotel booking site Stayzilla.com, generating 18-fold returns in just under two years, marking a big thumbs up for early stage investments in the country.
The company raised $15 million in its Series B round of funding led by venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Matrix Partners India, last month. It had raised an undisclosed amount in its Series A round of funding from Matrix in October 2013.
While some of the investors who had backed the startup as part of Indian Angel Network (IAN) have exited in the latest venture capital funding round, few have stayed put anticipating further growth for the company and the value of their investments.
Stayzilla had raised around $1 million from close to 30 angel investors in March 2013 as per data compiled by VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle. The investment, which was led by Ravindra Krishnappa, included several prominent angel investors and industrialists.
Krishnappa has also backed ventures such as IndianMoney, 360BA , Axon, Druva, Vayavya, Orangescape, Unbxd, GreencubeGlobal, Valgen, Ornex and CollateBox.
Other angel investors in Stayzilla included Anand Ladsariya, Sharad Sharma, Raman Roy, Jayesh Parekh, Sunil Kant Munjal and Dan Sandhu to name a few.
“IAN thanks Ravi Krishnappa, IAN Investor who mentored the company through its growth path and the led the transaction for IAN Investors. It has resulted in returns of over 18 times in a brief period of less than 2 years. AND further, some angels still hold shares to play for the jackpot,” IAN said in a statement without disclosing the details of the investors who exited the firm.
Although, it is not uncommon for angel investors to generate huge returns from their portfolio firms, the financial details of most such deals remain undisclosed. One of the most profitable angel investments is believed to be made by Ashish Gupta, co-founder and senior managing director of Helion Venture Partners, in his personal investment in Flipkart. It is not known if he remains an investor or has exited with the numerous rounds of funding into the e-commerce venture.
Stayzilla was started in 2005 and was earlier known as Inasra.com; it was rebranded as Stayzilla in 2010. Unlike popular OTAs like MakeMyTrip which offer both ticket booking and hotel reservation, Stayzilla focuses solely on room bookings.
The company plans to expand its reach to 8,000 towns and 50,000 accommodations by 2015-end. Currently, it claims to be offering over 20,000 accommodation options across 4,000 towns in the country. Its revenues come from charging a transaction/commission fee from the accommodation providers.
Another firm which is in a similar space is OYO Rooms, which offers a branded marketplace for booking budget ‘rooms’. OYO also raised a large VC round early this week.