Online aggregator for budget rooms WudStay acquires offline rival Awesome Stays

Five-month old WudStay Travels Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates online aggregator for budget hotels WudStay.com, has acquired offline rival Awesome Stays to enter into six new cities.

WudStay, which is present in Gurgaon, Manali, Delhi, Corbett, Haridwar and Jaipur, will expand into Varanasi, Goa, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Pune following the acquisition, as per a press statement.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

As a part of the acquisition, the team at AwesomeStays Pvt Ltd including CEO Deepak Sharma will join Wudstay.

“The acquisition of Awesome Stays has come in at a time when Wudstay is aggressively looking at expanding its network across cities. These are exciting times for Wudstay...we are looking at expanding to 65 new cities in the next 18 months,” said Prafulla Mathur, founder and CEO, Wudstay.

Wudstay recently raised $3 million in Series A funding from venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners and Nimbuzz CEO Vikas Saxena. Mathur had earlier founded mobile app development company Queppelin, which has clients such as Gaana.com, Facebook and Snapdeal, among others. Before that, he was associated with IT firm Mastek.

Founded in 2014 by Sharma and Pankaj Singh, Awesome Stays take bookings over the phone. It does not have an online booking platform. The company was getting almost 6,000 orders a month.

Wudstay compete with the likes of Zip Rooms, Oyo Rooms and Zo Rooms for a slice of the growing budget hotels aggregation space.

Anchored on an asset-light business model they are essentially aggregating standalone budget hotels, strapping them with a common brand with a promise to the consumer to offer a standardised set of amenities like a conventional budget hotel chain. Indeed some of them also have found venture capital investors to back their story.

They are seen as a new breed of accommodation booking providers as against large online travel agencies (OTAs) such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Goibibo and Cleartrip among others who simply list hotels of all categories.

Recently, South Africa’s internet and digital media conglomerate Naspers’ owned Indian OTA Goibibo floated its own version of the same business. Goibibo is eyeing a larger slice of the burgeoning hotel aggregation space by floating ‘goStays’, a standardised budget accommodation starting at Rs 999 per day (with free breakfast) at multiple Indian cities.

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