Matrix and SAIF Partners-backed Rubtub Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs an online aggregator for budget hotels called Treebo Hotels, claims to register upto 250 bookings every night in just four months after inception.
Sidharth Gupta, co-founder of Treebo, said that the startup has a confirmed inventory of 400 rooms with an occupancy rate of 60-65 per cent. It aims to have 1,000 rooms covered under its brand by next month. By the year-end, the company claims it will have have 2,000 rooms across seven new cities.
“We are pursuing a really exciting trajectory. The idea is to establish our presence in all major cities from the point of view of either business or leisure travel destinations. So, we will expand to all major cities and locations like Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata etc this year itself,” said Gupta.
Treebo offers a branded chain of affordable hotels to travellers across Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Bangalore. The company partners with small, standalone hotels and helps them improve their service quality standards and market themselves effectively with technology.
About 16 hotels are live on its platform currently. It is also building a consumer app and an internal app to ensure quality levels are maintained at the hotels.
Treebo had raised $6 million (Rs 38 crore) in its Series A round of funding co-led by Matrix Partners India and SAIF Partners in June.
Treebo would compete with likes of Vista Rooms, Zip Rooms, OYO Rooms, Zo Rooms, Wudstay and other players 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 and promising the customer 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.
Mangrove Capital Partners-backed WudStay Travels Pvt Ltd recently acquired offline rival Awesome Stays to enter into six new cities.
OYO Rooms, which is one of the largest players in this space, recently raised $100 million in funding from Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank and others. It will use this money to expand the size of its network to 50,000 rooms across 100 cities by the end of this year.
Treebo was founded in March 2015 by Gupta along with Rahul Chaudhary and Kadam Jeet Jain.
Before launching this venture, Gupta and Chaudhary worked as vice-presidents at Flipkart-Myntra leading several strategic initiatives for the group and were colleagues at McKinsey & Company before that. Their co-founder and fellow alumnus from IIT Roorkee, Jain comes with nine years of startup experience and until recently was the VP engineering for MyGola, an online travel company that was acquired by MakeMyTrip earlier this year.