The budget room aggregator Vista Rooms is planning to raise a whopping amount of $10 million as part of Series A to expand into segments like homestays, hostels and student accommodation.
“Having raised an angel round through HNIs, we are now ready for Series A funding. But the market sentiment is low. We have to wait and watch before we can go in for raising money which is going to be about $ 10 million,” said Ankita Sheth, Co-Founder, Vista Rooms.
The startup is open to experimenting new categories such as resorts, Havelis and service apartments. With 800 rooms to its name, the startup plans to extend its services beyond homestays.
“We have looked into segments like hostels and student accommodation. Hostels are about building communities and are a different business to handle than budget rooms. Even student accommodation is a different market but we have done a pilot in Pune. These are long stays than the typical budget hotels and have to handled differently,’’ added Sheth.
They have been said to be in an engagement with Cox and Kings and Thomas Cook to tap into the corporate market. Which means they would be attracting corporate customers by selling their rooms on these players’ online portal.
“We are into inventory sharing with the offline players since their market is huge. Through their online platform we will access their offline corporate clients,’’ she added.
In the case of Thomas Cook, the company has reached out to its corporates through their B2B platform. However, Vista Rooms has no plans to discount the low-end properties below INR1000 per night through offline travel companies. The average price of their rooms sold through offline portals would be upward of INR2000 and intend to avoid deep discounting as the fellow online players would submerge themselves into to gain consumers.
Given that MakeMyTrip and Goibibo have stemmed from online budget aggregators and the need to tap the offline market is an imperative move.
Source: The Hindu Business Line