Leisure hospitality Startup 'V Resorts' raises $10 million in fresh Series A funding

Leisure hospitality Startup

  • Investment led by various high-profile HNIs
  • Set to become the largest Indian operator in the experiential travel segment
  • Funds to be utilised to penetrate into 1000+ destinations and enter new geographies

New Delhi: V Resorts, one of India's leading leisure hospitality chains/ start-ups, with over 150 properties spread across 22 states, has announced the raising of $10 million in Series A funding to mark their next phase of growth.

The fresh round of investment is led by various HNIs. Existing investors, including Bedrock Ventures and RB Capital, also participated in the round.

Through this investment, the company has plans to expand its footprint in India and also enter new markets across South Asia and the Middle-East, with a target of reaching 1000+ properties and 15,000+ rooms in the next three years. Within India, a significant part of the growth will be focused on entrenching markets such as Andhra Pradesh where the company is already in talks with the Andhra Pradesh Government to promote state-wide tourism.

The company, with its in-house tech infrastructure, also plans to invest more on the technology platform, giving customers a 360-degree independent travel experience, and plans to now build its own SAAS products for the hospitality industry.

Vikram Puri, Director of Archer Hospitality, and one of the HNIs who invested, says, "There is a general shortage of hotel rooms in leisure destinations across India; V Resorts uses technology to improve discoverability and monetises idle inventory across locations."

V Resorts was founded by ISB Hyderabad alumnus Ms. Aditi Balbir back in 2014 when, while working with Bedrock Ventures, she observed the market gap in what the New-Age traveller wanted out of leisure travel, and actually existed in India. The company created its own niche within India's Micro-Tourism sector, bringing-in specialised facilities management services for property owners, and managing the end-to-end holiday experience of each customer. At a time when only large-format hotels in destinations with proven business potential defined the leisure travel sector, the company's business model was uniquely different to the status-quo.

With a highly profitable asset-light model, V Resorts began with operating properties that had small room inventory. Without the cost-burden, V Resorts' properties break even at 20% occupancy within the first six to nine months, and achieve a 50% profit margin within the first three years itself. The model also directly impacts micro-economies at the grass- root level by its very design.

With the impact created at an individual resort level, the model has a potential of reaching $1 billion in terms of local community impact over the next 10 years. In 2018, the company also launched its in-house local store - Pitara, where they work with native women groups to package and sell their local products.

Talking about the latest funding, Ms Aditi Balbir, Founder and CEO, V Resorts said, "Our focus will remain on providing our guests with high-quality unique experiences in new and

unexplored destinations. Excellence in product delivery can only be developed through training and we plan to strengthen that aspect of our work as well. We shall also broaden our association with local women communities, standing true to our commitment on creating women entrepreneurs at every level."

Mohit Chuganee, another HNI investor, and the beneficiary owner of Mass Private Trust explains the company's journey best when he says, "V Resorts saw potential in small towns that were weekend getaways for big city folks, just off the beaten track, with small hotels that had beautiful views, but where standards and occupancy needed to be improved. They began to offer their services to either manage properties or sub-let the properties, and standardised the mattresses, bathrooms and linen, improved the F&B and began to actively market them. This turned out to be an excellent way for both owners and V Resorts to bring upgraded, smaller, bespoke properties to customers at reasonable rates".

"This kind of business model," he says, "allows V Resorts to be a hotel operator with lower capital investment, thereby improving returns on net capital invested and also allows them to scale up and grow at a rapid pace. Just think of it like the Uber of hotels in smaller offbeat locations!"

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