Published: 3/12/2021

Happy Friday, folks. Anmol is off traveling to the hills, so I'm picking up the update today. Apologies for my tardiness — have also just wrapped up a long workday! In news today, we catch-up on some Ola news, and an interesting fundraise by Awfis.

  • https://bit.ly/2N9eoIQ: CCI tells MakeMyTrip to relist Oyo rivals Treebo, FabHotels
  • ➡️ This has been a long-standing saga. In 2018 the hotel franchise companies, Treebo and FabHotels, approached India's compeititon watchdog with the complaint that online travel aggregator MakeMyTrip had abused its dominant position by delisting the companies' properties from its platform. What was problematic was the fact MakeMyTrip had a few months earlier entered a partnership with OYO.

    ➡️ I don't know why it's taken the CCI so long, but anyway we now know where it stands in the matter. In an interim relief it has asked MakeMyTrip to relist properties operated by the two budget hotel chains on its online portals makemytrip.com and goibibo.com with immediate effect.

    ➡️ Apparently, the CCI investigation revealed that Oyo had asked MakeMyTrip to delist the properties. None of this is really surprising for those who have followed Oyo and know about the company's aggressive tactics. And its also a rare case of the CCI actually doing its job, I guess.

    ➡️ That said, if the CCI's finding is indeed that MakeMyTrip was exploiting its dominant position, I hope the outcome of the investigation isn't just a reslisting of Treebo and Fabhotels, but instead a proper fine or something that is a bit more cautionary.

    2. https://bit.ly/2N9zUx5: Awfis bags Rs 40 Cr from existing backers; revenue touches Rs 226 Cr in FY20

    ➡️ Entrackr reported today that Sequoia capital-backed co-working space firm Awfis has raised fresh funds from two existing investors. Bisque Limited and Link Investment Trust have put in Rs 40 crore in the Delhi-based company.

    ➡️ Awfis is likely to use the funds to streamline its operations which is still recovering from the pandemic. Awfis had pivoted to enable the transition to remote working, launching Awfis@Home, a service that offers physical infrastructure support such as IT services and tech integration. The company claims to have sold over 1,000 units of this new offering. Awfis had also launched a facility management service Awfis Care to manage office spaces for businesses.

    ➡️ That's not the worst pivot to be honest, and I think the timing of the raise is interesting. I don't know what office openings in India might look like — I think some offices are already open — and whether people will go back to business as normal. I think once a large majority have been vaccinated, it will be interesting to see if companies are willing to allow more flexible hours / remote work. In that case, co-working spaces could see an uptick. Personally, I am anti-social enough that the idea of going back to the office is enough to give massive anxiety. I really don't want to see people!

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/LorenzLuthi/status/1370026730644119552?s=20

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