Started with the $15k from poker games Hospitality chain, Zostel is one of the largest and oldest networks of hostels in India. Founded 2013 by seven co-founders Akhil Malik, Dharmveer Singh Chouhan, Paavan Nanda & Tarun Tiwari alumni of IIM Calcutta.
Zostel is India’s first chain of backpacker hostels offering protected, healthful, centrally-located and cost-friendly accommodation for young explorers. Initially, Zostel started in Rajasthan in two cities – Jodhpur and Jaipur have a presence in 34 cities in India including Allepey, Kodaikanal, LehManali, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Bir, Wagamon, Kochi, Wayanad, Goa and more. The Company also operates in Nepal in two cities
The company ‘s initial angel fundraising round of 5 crores from a Malaysia based angel investor, Presha Paragash.In Early 2015, Zostel launches an ‘entrepreneurship development program’, will let anyone start their backpacker hostel with the help of Zostel.
The reason behind this entrepreneurship program, Akhil says, “We want to promote entrepreneurship among those who are passionate deep down but are somehow stuck in various other boring spheres of life. It’s for those who want to run their own business but due to lack of idea/team/experience are unable to do so.”
In 2015, the startup ventured into the budget hotel space with ZoRooms. ZoRooms had raised total funding of $47 million from the Orios Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management. Latter Oyo took ZoRooms to the court for alleged copied their technology .there were also rumors of Oyo acquiring Zo Rooms. While ZoRooms maintained OYO had acquired them, OYO continued denying the same.