Soon-to-become Unicorns: OYO inches closer to $1-billion valuation mark

A little over five years ago, teenager Ritesh Agarwal and his five colleagues, who were set to launch a hospitality company, spent Rs 99 to buy the domain name oyorooms.com on GoDaddy. At that time, the start-up had just signed its first property in Gurgaon.  Today, OYO has transformed into the biggest hotel network in the country with an inventory of about 100,000 rooms.  It is not far from a valuation of a billion dollars, which would make it a unicorn in the start-up world. The first property, Agarwal recalls, was branded as OYO Hotels. But then, it was a small asset a.....

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