Stayzilla originally started out as an aggregator for hotels. It listed not just popular hotel chains but also the likes of Oyo and Zo. Think of it as an additional layer of bread in a short stay sandwich. Vasupal, popularly known as Yogi, decided to pivot after Oyo’s customer experiences were, let’s say, less than ideal. He started the Indian version of Airbnb with some additional matchmaking mechanisms thrown in. But what is Stayzilla exactly? “The company facilitates accommodation booking services through its online and mobile platform. The revenue, ie, commission earned from rendering these services is recognised in the income statement…,” states the balance sheet. That’s the money line.
- $40 million
Matrix Venture Partners
Nexus Venture Partners
What has Stayzilla been up to last year?
Stayzilla had been pushing to raise cash and could not raise funds until a bridge round in May 2016. The company has been forced to slip into cash conservation mode. To strengthen its pivot, Stayzilla hired Anuroop Krishnan, the former marketing and communication director of Truecaller. The company went on a hiring spree last year. It picked up students from the campuses of ISB, assorted IITs and IIMs. Unfortunately, the fund crunch continued. Most of the offers were revoked.
Rs 13.8 crore: Revenue earned by Stayzilla in FY16. Compared to Rs 4.2 crore in FY15. Revenue rose three times. Good? Read on.
Rs 94.5 crore: Loss on Stayzilla’s books. Up from Rs 19.6 crore in FY15. The new pivot has hurt Stayzilla deep.
Rs 56 crore: Spend on marketing in FY16. It went up almost FIVE times from FY15. The company wanted people to know it had pivoted and splurged cash all over the place. Did it work?
Rs 11.4 crore: Commissions earned from actual transactions on the platform. It rose from Rs 3.3 crore last year. So, it spent Rs 56 crore to earn Rs 11.4 crore in actual transactions.
Rs 29.8 crore: Salaries Stayzilla paid its staff. Up from Rs 6.5 crore in FY15. An interesting point to note: Stayzilla decided to shift its base of operations from Chennai to Bengaluru and paid a generous relocation fee to its employees who agreed to the switch.
Rs 1.9 crore: Rent Stayzilla paid in FY16. Up from Rs 66 lakh the previous year. Another fall out of its move from Chennai to Bengaluru.
Vasupal has been talking about reducing the burn to $250,000 and doubling its margin in FY17. The $13.5 million in May 2016, could help strengthen its hand but the Indian Airbnb is looking at some harsh home truths.
Graphic has been updated on November 30th for clarity