Oyo, one of India’s biggest startups and more recently, a sinking ship, has been suffering from the COVID 19 pandemic for the past year, with billions vanishing from its valuation in just a few months. However, it looks like the firm is ready to jump back into business, as regulatory filings show that Microsoft is investing in the budget hotel booking chain at a massive $9.6Bn valuation.

The startup has kicked off its Series F2 round and has allotted 5 equity shares and 80 preference shares to Microsoft corporation at an issue price of $58,490 per share to raise $5 million, regulatory filings show.

Oyo was one of India’s biggest, most successful startups at one point. However, the company ran into trouble after it was found that it promoted a toxic work culture. Moreover, complaints from hotel owners led to animosity led to bad reputation in the market, which slowed down Oyo’s growth trajectory.

The firm was getting ready to get back to its feet and improve its relationship with hotel owners at the start of 2020, but then, COVID struck. In just a few weeks, the company lost billions and billions of dollars, leading up to the darkest time in its history till date.

Now, as India continues to open up and the tours and travels industry is making a comeback, Oyo is seeing some traction in the market.

Microsoft-one of the biggest tech companies in the world, realizes that, and thus, this investment could help it reap off massive benefits in the future. Moreover, rumors suggest that Oyo will shift to Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure as part of this fundraise.

While $5 million is a small investment for a company as big as Oyo, it will help set the valuation for this new funding round. Moreover, it will also help the firm regain market confidence. This will be crucial for the IPO, which is rumored to take place later this year.

Microsoft has been investing heavily in the Indian startup ecosystem, which has been growing tremendously this year. In December 2020, it had backed DailyHunt, which managed to break into the unicorn club thanks to this investment. It also has stake in the e-commerce firm Flipkart, which competes directly with Amazon in the second largest internet market in the world.