He started coding (writing programs) at the age of 8.
At the age of 16, he was selected for Asian Science Camp by Tata Institute Of Fundamental Research.
At the age of 17, he was one of the youngest CEOs in India at Worth Growth Partners.
Also at the age 17, he faced difficult time. He had to spend several nights on the staircase of his house at Masjid Moth area in New Delhi as his landlord did not allow him to enter the house due to non payment of rent.
At the age of 18, he was selected for a talent nurturing program which fetched him 30 lac to scale his business.
At the age of 19, he was the only Indian to receive Peter Thiel fellowship for 2013.
These have been few key development in the life of Ritesh Agarwal, who is currently the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. OYO rooms have recently raised $ 25 Million from Lightspeed Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greenoaks Capital and DSG Consumer Partners. The company will use funding to realize its ambition of becoming the largest technology-enabled network of hotels globally.
It all started at the age of 13, when Ritesh had to travel a lot. He sometimes got a very bad stay at higher price and sometimes a very good one at a lower price. This made him to think about an online place where people could find decent accommodation at a good price.
He started working on the idea at the age of 18, when he started Oravel, an online rental site like Airbnb. He received 30 lac funding from VentureNursery, an accelerator which brought together a bunch of storied investors to nurture start-ups.
At the age of 19, he made few changes in the idea of Oravel and renamed it to OYO Rooms, a marketplace for branded budget hotels. OYO Stays received funding of Rs.4 crore from Lightspeed Venture Partners (LSVP) and DSG Consumer Partners, Singapore, at a pre-money valuation of Rs.14 crore. In the next 10 months, OYO rooms received funding of $6 million (about Rs.36 crore) from Sequoia Capital and LSVP at a pre-money valuation of $60 million, which is approximately Rs. 360 Crore.
And the latest $ 25 Million funding, which amount to approximately Rs.158 Crore.
The business run by a 21 year old CEO is valued at Rs 360 crore.
This story tells you about how Ritesh Agarwal received venture funds. It looked very simple, but is it really that simple? Just imagine and mental and physical hard work that Ritesh had to put to take this company to this value. One must also not ignore the risk this young man had taken at this age, if something goes wrong, he might have had to suffer throughout his life.
These young talented people can easily gain good education and work with some multinational for a good pay package, but they prefer to take the risk, live their dreams and create employment for hundreds of their age.
OYO Rooms claims to have grown to more than 200 hotels in 10 cities; booking 50,000 room nights every month. The Gurgaon based company plans to expand its network to 1000 hotels in 25 cities by this year end.