In one of the most shocking development of this year, Stayzilla — one of the largest homestays startup, has decided to shut down its operations. It enabled users to research and reserve hotels and homestays across India.
Announcing this move, Yogendra Vasupal, co-founder of Stayzilla, said in a statement,
I would like to announce today that we will be bringing to a halt the operations of Stayzilla in its current form, and looking to reboot it with a different business model……New bookings on all Stayzilla platforms — website and app — are now suspended. Bookings with check-in dates on or before 28th February 2017 will be honoured. Any booking with check-in after that date will be cancelled and the guests will receive 100 percent refund.
Stayzilla had raised about $34 million across four rounds of funding, with the last being a $13.5 million Series C round in May 2016. The startup was backed by Indian Angel Network, Matrix Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.
The company was founded in 2005 as Inasra by Yogendra, with his wife Rupal Yogendra and his friend Sachit Singhi. Later, in 2010, the company rebranded itself as Stayzilla.
The platform acted as a marketplace for homestays and alternate stays in India, with around 55,000 stay options across 4,500 towns in the country. It catered to both homeowners and travellers looking for differentiated, unique stay experiences.
While Stayzilla is halting operations in its current avatar, Yogendra noted that the future will see Stayzilla becoming a hassle-free distribution channel going out to the right audience, wherever they may be. He says,
We will look to work closely with both online and offline travel partners to offer the best of Indian homestays to their valued customers. Our hosts still have a lot of needs that are unmet and problems that are unsolved. That’s something that excites me.
Stayzilla is just one of the internet firms to lay off people this year. Others include Snapdeal, Quikr and Ola. As the funding environment becomes tougher, the year 2017 is expected to see more such consolidation in the first half.