Backpacker hostel brand goSTOPS has raised USD 1 million in its Pre-Series A round led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Yuj Ventures, the private investing arm of the family office of Xander Group founder Sid Yog. There was also participation from The Chennai Angels, Chandigarh Angels, Lead Angels, Mumbai Angels Network, LetsVenture as well as goSTOPS’ existing lead investor 1Crowd. KRS Jamwal, Uday Chatterjee and Mitesh Shah led this round at IAN.
The freshly infused funds will be utilized to aggressively grow the company’s supply over the next 12 months and invest in marketing and technology. The company had earlier raised funding in a round led by 1Crowd Fund, and from angel investors including Nitesh Mittersain, the founder of Nazara Games.
Pallavi Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of goSTOPS, said they are thrilled to have great investors backing the company in the quest to make youth travel accessible, safe and fun. “This pandemic has challenged lives in an unprecedented manner. Despite that, we saw a robust demand recovery from our young travelers post the first wave, and the same is happening today. This has helped us validate strong market-need fundamentals and business model resilience. This is also an opportune time for us to aggressively expand supply across the country to cater to the needs of the ever-increasing number of Gen Z travelers.”
Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder of Indian Angel Network, said these are unique times. “While work-from-home has evolved into work-from-anywhere for Gen Z, leisure travel also takes on a whole new meaning in the age of restricted travel,” Ruparel said. “We believe goSTOPS has identified an extremely large and promising segment of youth travelers who deserve better value for their money. With goSTOPS’ strong standing and innovative model, we are certain that it has the potential to be at the forefront of the Indian hospitality sector.”
A spokesperson for Yuj Ventures said Pallavi and Pankaj are passionate entrepreneurs who have shepherded their hostel brand through the worst pandemic the world has seen in recent times. “We believe that they can rapidly scale goSTOPS to meet the needs and expectations of the aspiring Indian youth, and we look forward to them achieving their entrepreneurial goals.”
Sheshank Verma, Partner, 1Crowd, said Gen Z travelers love to explore destinations beyond the ordinary and prefer social settings that enrich their experiences. “goSTOPS, through its unique product and full-stack business model, has developed a proposition that can be scaled to every nook and corner of the country. We have seen the founders show immense grit and hustle to adapt to the pandemic and pursue growth. We are happy to continue our partnership with them as they strengthen their leadership position in this market.”
goSTOPS caters primarily to the Gen Z population. With community and design-led hotel transformation, the brand harnesses the efficiencies of the shared community to make a high-quality youth-focused stay accessible within a Gen Z friendly budget of INR 500 per night. Operating across 20 destination in India, goSTOPS has hosted over 500K guests in its properties since its inception.