Backpacker hostel startup goSTOPS raises $1M in pre-Series A round led by IAN, Yuj Ventures

Pallavi Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder of goSTOPS

Backpacker hostel startup goSTOPS will use the funds to grow the company’s supply over the next 12 months and invest in marketing and technology.

Backpacker hostel brand goSTOPS on Thursday said it raised $1 million in a 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. KRS Jamwal, Uday Chatterjee, and Mitesh Shah led this round at IAN.

The round also saw participation from The Chennai AngelsChandigarh AngelsLead AngelsMumbai Angels NetworkLetsVenture, and goSTOPS’ existing lead investor 1Crowd.

Speaking on the development., Pallavi Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder, goSTOPS, said,

“This pandemic has challenged lives in an unprecedented manner. Despite that, we saw a robust demand recovery from our young travellers 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 travellers.”

It will use the funds to aggressively grow the startup’s supply over the next 12 months and invest in marketing and technology. It had earlier raised funding in a round led by 1Crowd Fund and from angel investors, including Nitish Mittersain, Founder of Nazara Games.

goSTOPS caters primarily to the Gen Z population. With community and design-led hotel transformation, the brand harnesses the efficiencies of the shared economy to make a youth-focused stay accessible within a Gen Z friendly budget of Rs 500 per night.

Operating across 20 destinations in India, goSTOPS has hosted over 500,000 guests in its properties since its inception.

Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder of Indian Angel Network, said,

“We are living in 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. We believe goSTOPS has identified an extremely large and promising segment of youth travellers who deserve better value for their money.”

Co-founded by Pallavi Agarwal and Pankaj Parwanda in 2014, goSTOPS has a geographical footprint in some of the major tourist spots in the country, including Agra, Alleppey, Amritsar, Bir, Dalhousie, New Delhi, Fort Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Leh, Manali, Mcleodganj, Mumbai, Munnar, Mussoorie, Naggar, Palampur, Rishikesh, Udaipur, and Varanasi.

According to Yuj Ventures, “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.”

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