New Delhi: Delhi-based chain of youth traveller hostels goStops has raised an undisclosed amount of funds as part of its recent funding round. GoStops has about 800 beds in 13 Indian cities and plans to expand by doubling their bed capacity in the next 12 months. GoStops will utilize the funds to enhance its product offerings through investments in technology & training, adding new revenue streams, strengthening its marketing, and building a team to handle the next phase of growth.
GoStops says it is a “full stack” youth traveller hostel provider. The company leases, manages and franchises real estate assets to design, market, sell and operate youth hostels under its brand in locations that young travellers visit for business or leisure.
The chain provides air-conditioned dorms and private rooms, a front desk service, a 24×7 cafe, and the hostels also offer facilities like mini theatre, entertainment centres with foosball & pool tables, work & lounges in common areas, and activities to socialize and explore the destination together with fellow travellers.
“Currently, short stay options (hotels, guest houses and such) available within youth budget are of poor and unpredictable quality, and not youth friendly. We aim to solve this problem by offering travellers hostels which are high quality, affordable, and social,” says Pallavi Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of goStops.
“A growing number of youth prefer community living (fostering growth of co-living and co-working) and they are willing to share rooms and facilities for greater quality accommodation. GoStops plans to cater to the rapidly growing aspirational demands of the youth in this category,” she added.
The round saw participation from the founder of Nazara Games, Nitish Mittersain; Ex-MD of Copal Partners, Sorabh Agarwal; Founder of Smart Cube, Sameer Walia; Co-founder of dimdim.com, Rohit Shankar; and Owner of South Handlooms, Sunil Kumar Singhvi, amongst others.
The country has experienced remarkable growth in the number of new businesses in the past few years – something of a startup boom. Recognising that India has the third largest pool of startups globally, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu commented that these are constructive disruptions in the economy.
Just a few days ago, the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey also invited applications from students & entrepreneurs for IndiaSkills 2020, a biennial competition to scout talent from the country, and conferred the National Entrepreneurship Awards for which over 6,000 startups submitted applications.
Earlier in November, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh awarded Rs 3 crore to two startups, while other members of Government, including the Science & Tech Minister Harsh Vardhan, are urging students to engage in entrepreneurship.
Only a week before before Vardhan said that, researchers at IIT-Madras announced they have developed an AI software that can solve engineering problems and will be founding a startup around it.
Entrepreneurs are also receiving support from their own community, with OYO South Asia CEO Aditya Ghosh investing in startup speaker agency SpeakIn. Most recently, eBikeGo, an electric two-wheeler rental platform providing fleet solutions for last mile delivery to companies like Zomato and Delhivery raised $300,000 in funding.
On 14 November, TiE Mumbai also launched ‘TiE Academy’ for startup mentoring & entrepreneurship, aiming to equip new business founders with processes & training that enhance their capacity to move ahead in the entrepreneurial journey while making their ventures profitable & sustainable.
Indian startups are getting global recognition too, with Hyderabad-based baby-healthcare startup ‘NemoCare’ winning the Asia Hardware Battle in China.
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