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Lightspeed and Sequoia executives raked in huge profits after partial Oyo exit

Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital held about 13% and 11% stake, respectively in Oyo.

Source: Unsplash

While SoftBank-backed hospitality giant Oyo tackles headwinds due to surging losses as it chases growth in global markets, and faces backlash from hotel partners in its stronghold India, some of its investors have gotten their Christmas present early.

General Partners (GPs) at American venture capital firms Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital have collectively made USD 400 to 500 million from the partial stake sale in Oyo Hotels and Homes by the two funds to RA Hospitality, the Cayman island based special purpose vehicle set up by Oyo founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal for buyback of shares.

According to the local media Economic Times, GPs at Lightspeed are expected to have received a total of USD 250 million, while Sequoia’s partners have bagged around USD 150 million. GPs are the investment professionals at a fund who actively manage and allocate assets across companies. They earn profit from an exit after Limited Partners (LPs) or those who invest in the fund, receive their share of gains.

Overall, as per media reports, Lightspeed held about a 13% stake in Oyo, of which it sold 9% for roughly USD 850 million, while Sequoia Capital raked in USD 450 million for a 6% stake sale.

Lightspeed came onboard Oyo’s cap table in 2014, and over the years had invested about USD 28 million. It will continue to hold about a 4% stake in the company. Sequoia, which had invested about USD 25 million in the company, will also keep a 4% to 5% stake with itself in the company.

The deal, first reported by local media in July, was concluded in November. Agarwal had announced borrowing USD 2 to 2.2 billion from the consortium of Japanese financial institutions, including Nomura Holdings and Mizuho, to fund the 15% stake sale from Sequoia and Lightspeed for USD 1.5 billion and pump in about USD 700 million in the company.

A Bloomberg report said SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son personally guaranteed the loans to Agarwal, citing sources.

The USD 2.2 billion-transaction, is expected to raise Agarwal’s stake directly and through RA Hospitality to about 30% stake in the company, making him the second-largest shareholder of USD 10-billion company, followed by SoftBank, which holds close to 50% stake.

“The money hit the bank recently and is one of the largest carried interests (profit share earned by GPs) for GPs in India. For this kind of distribution among the top team you need at least USD 1 billion in exit,” the ET report quoted a person privy to the development.

The Oyo transaction is the second largest exit by fund partners after USD 16 billion Flipkart acquisition by American retail giant Walmart last year.