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OYO Rooms appoints Amazon exec as CTO

Branded budget hotels marketplace OYO Rooms, run by Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd, has appointed Anil Goel as chief technology officer, according to a press statement.

Goel was previously with Amazon as the global head of technology for customer returns and reverse logistic business. Prior to that, he was the CTO for Hike Messenger. Goel has worked for RealNetworks, Capgemini and HyperQuality.

"Anil's leadership, vast knowledge and diverse experience will provide added heft to the overall technology drive required in scaling up to meet and deliver the next phase of expansion at OYO," said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO Rooms.

Goel is an alumnus of BITS Pilani and City University of Seattle. At OYO he will be responsible for driving the technology strategy and integrating it with OYO's business strategy.

"The complexities in delivering end-to-end stay solutions for guests and innovative and intuitive partner-management-systems along with the strong reliance on tech to drive business, makes this a great opportunity to contribute to OYO's future growth and evolution," said Goel, on his appointment.

Recently, OYO Rooms also hired two co-founders of health tech startup Qlik Pass, Rahul Gupta and Rishi Swami, for its data science and analytics department. It also appointed Siddhartha Dasgupta, who was earlier with Blackberry, as president of corporate affairs.

OYO had last year raised $100 million (Rs 635 crore then) in a round led by SoftBank with participation from Sequoia, Lightspeed and Greenoaks Capital. In March 2015, it raised Rs 150 crore led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from existing investors Lightspeed, Sequoia and DSG Consumer Partners.

In February 2016, OYO Rooms—which is the most-funded budget hotels aggregator in India—had acquired Tiger Global-backed smaller rival Zo Rooms in an all-stock deal.

In May, the company said that it has attained profitability at an aggregate level. It claimed that it was operationally profitable until June 2015 before it went for expansion but regained profitability at a network level from February 2016.

In August, a report mentioned that OYO Rooms is raising $90 million (Rs 600 crore) from existing investor SoftBank Group Corp.

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