The budget hotel segment is witnessing intense competition in the Indian market. Even with the aggressive approach of SoftBank-backed OYO, firms like Treebo and Fab Hotel have been reporting growth. But that growth has kept the bereft from funding.
In a bid to continue its growth and increase its outreach, Treebo has reportedly received a new round from media giant Bennett Coleman and Co Limited (BCCL). While the company has not confirmed this, but company filings (via paper.vc) indicate that BCCL has invested about $458,000 in an ad-for-equity deal. The deal will result in Treebo getting adspace at prominent BCCL properties in return for equity in the company. BCCL has in the past, adopted this ad-for-equity model in several cases, leveraging its massive media conglomerate for lucrative stakes in up and coming businesses.
As per a separate regulatory filing, it has been revealed that Treebo will allot one equity share worth ₹1,55,741 each and five share warrants valued at ₹65 lakh each. The company’s board has also approved the private placement offer.
After the completion of this transaction, BCCL will hold about 5.58 percent of Treebo’s shares. Treebo’s shareholders include Matrix and SAIF who are the biggest, holding 19 per cent shares each while the company’s founders Siddharth Gupta and Rahul Chaudhary hold 13. 35 percent each.
BCCL is the owner of Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English daily as on date. The group also owns several television channels, along with India ownership of several prominent international brands like Huff Post among others. The company also operates its own stream of radio channels as well as a host of advertising companies.
Despite intense competition in the budget hotel segment and the presence of the Softbank bankrolled OYO, companies like Treebo have still managed to see growth in their revenue amid marginal losses in FY19.
Treebo recorded almost 64 percent spike in operating revenue to ₹67.8 crore in FY19 from ₹41.35 crore in FY18. It also generated ₹9.5 crore from the gain on sale of current investments, lease rental income, among others.
The company was also reportedly in advanced talks with the French hotel brand Accor SA for an investment of around $40 million. However, as of now, there’s no information available about this funding round.