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Report: Airbnb in talks for up to US$200M investment in Oyo Hotels

Airbnb Inc. is in discussions to invest between US$100 million and US$200 million in India-based Oyo Hotels & Homes, The Information reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The investment will allow the online marketplace and hospitality service operator to achieve its growth targets in India and China ahead of its plan to list by 2020, the people said. It will also become one of the backers of the US$5 billion hospitality chain operator along with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp., Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. and China's Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd.

There is no assurance that the transaction will push through, the sources noted, citing factors including potential tax-related barriers that could arise from Airbnb's investment in a foreign startup like Oyo Hotels, as well as the competition that may arise among the hotelier's investors.

A spokeswoman for Oyo Hotels said the company is working closely with a range of global distribution partners including Airbnb but maintained that none of the existing partnerships is exclusive. On the other hand, a spokesman for Airbnb declined to comment regarding the discussions, the March 18 report added.