Microsoft and hospitality start-up Oyo have signed a “multi-year strategic alliance” to develop new travel and hospitality technologies to take advantage of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and AI.
According to the news, the deal came on the heels of the famous software company showed a keen interest in investing in Oya. This new partnership has the companies will partner to improve digital capability for small to medium sized hotels. Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India had this to say about the partnership:
“Combining the power of Azure with the tech and product stack developed by OYO, we are looking forward to accelerating innovation in travel and hospitality. It is inspiring to see how the Microsoft cloud is empowering digital natives like OYO to accelerate industry transformation and innovations, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future.”
Oyo, which was recently valued at $9.6 billion, was founded 7 years ago, and has become one of the leading brands in the hospitality industry. Backed by heavyweights like SoftBank and Lightspeed Venture Partners, the company is recovering like so many from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and headed for an IPO offering, according to reports.
Airbnb backed Oyo will switch to Microsoft Azure for cloud-based needs. The hospitality tech company will also develop smart room experiences for travelers on the Oyo platform, according to the announcements. As part of the planned business cooperation, Oyo will create premium and customized experiences for guests.
Other than self-checkin and digital registration, Microsoft’s Azure IoT will provide things like IoT-managed smart locks and virtual assistance for guests. The pandemic has created any number of paradigm shifts, some of which pushed back Oyo’s plans for expansion. The company was widely criticized for layoffs at the peak of the crisis.
The company operates thousands of hotels, home stays, and resort properties across India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and in the U.S. Microsoft confirmed that it has also made a strategic equity investment in Oyo, but didn’t disclose the amount. TechCrunch revealed a regulatory filing showing Microsoft investing $5 million in the Indian startup.