Rocket Internet-backed Zen Rooms has launched its budget hotel network in Brazil, marking its first foray outside of Asia.
The service aggregates a range of hotels to offer its customers rooms at low prices with a set of minimum guarantees, including Wi-Fi, a hot shower, clean sheets and more. Zen Rooms claims to vet all the hotels on its service and, where needed, upgrade their facilities to satisfy its standards.
This business was first pioneered by OYO Rooms, an Indian startup that has raised over $125 million from investors like SoftBank. Zen Rooms launched in November to bring the model to emerging markets where few or no existing competitors are present — as is the case with many Rocket Internet companies. It started out in Indonesia, and in recent months has expanded to Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Now it is tackling Brazil — via Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro initially — making its way into an emerging market with similarities to Southeast Asia and a huge 200 million population.