Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal sets up Aroa Ventures to place startup bets

Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal sets up Aroa Ventures to place startup bets

In order to place early- to growth-stage bets, Ritesh Agarwal, group chief executive of SoftBank-backed hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes, has set up a new entity, Aroa Ventures. This makes him the latest Indian entrepreneur to create a vehicle to make personal investments.

Singapore-based Aroa Ventures plans to invest between $500,000 and $5 million, and is targeting opportunities across the consumer, technology and leisure infrastructure sectors, according to its website. Agarwal, who founded Gurgaon-headquartered Oyo in 2013, has roped in Gaurav Gulati, who previously was the chief operating officer at co-working company Innov8, which was acquired by Oyo for an estimated Rs 200 crore last year, to head the venture.

It is said that beyond capital, the team of serial entrepreneurs and experienced professionals work alongside portfolio companies to accelerate their growth and to deliver better risk-adjusted returns.

The investment firm is being sponsored by RACo Holding, which is controlled by Agarwal, according to digital publication Entrackr.

In 2019, the Oyo Group CEO had floated RA Hospitality, a Cayman Islands-domiciled entity, through which he has undertaken a $2.2 billion debt financing round to buy back shares from existing investors, as well as infuse fresh capital into the hospitality chain.

Additionally, in October last year, ET had reported that Agarwal, along with a clutch of senior Oyo executives, had also set up Raaga Partners LLP, a venture created to ostensibly pool their individual angel investments.