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OYO Rooms drags Zostel to court over alleged copyright theft

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Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, which runs a branded aggregator platform for budget hotels under OYO Rooms, has filed a legal complaint alleging theft of its copyright material against Zostel Hospitality Pvt Ltd.

Zostel Hospitality runs an online booking platform for branded backpacker hostels and recently launched ZoRooms, which is in the same domain as OYO Rooms in the budget hotels category.

Oravel has filed a case against Zostel in the Delhi High Court, court filing records show. The court noting was not available in the public domain but OYO spokesperson said the court has barred Zostel from using software and data of OYO Rooms. The spokesperson declined to comment further since the matter is sub-judice.

Emails and calls to Zostel spokesperson did not elicit a response.

The next date of hearing is September 2, 2015.

The development was first reported in The Economic Times.

OYO has alleged that certain employees of OYO who moved to join Zostel were party to the data theft.

Zostel was founded in 2013 by a group of IIM Calcutta graduates Chetan Chauhan, Paavan Nanda and Tarun Tiwari; and IIT alumnus Abhishek Bhutra. It was funded with Rs 5 crore from Malaysia-based angel investor Presha Paragash.

Oravel is also venture capital backed. The firm was founded by Ritesh Agarwal in 2012 when he was just 17. It earlier operated Oravel.com, which was a marketplace for boutique guest homes, inns, bed & breakfasts, serviced apartments, holiday rental and palaces. The firm aggregated bed-and-breakfast establishments, private rooms and serviced apartments for short and mid-term rental. However, the company shut down Oravel in June last year, and the domain name Oravel.com now redirects to OYO Rooms.

It recently raised Rs 150 crore ($24 million) in a new investment round led by Greenoaks Capital with participation of its three existing VC investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and DSG Consumer Partners.

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