Startup of the Week: Delhi based Indian Startup StayUncle

This week we feature Stay Uncle, a startup that Is Helping Couples book rooms India.

The New Delhi-based startup, StayUncle, is playing cupid to unmarried couples. The startup was initially intended for business travelers who needed rooms for a short duration. After discovering that unmarried couples started approaching them often, the company decided to take a stand by focusing on the couple-friendly hotel booking market. Their focus also address a need – the threat from India’s anti-Romeo squad – by helping unmarried couples get hotel rooms. The two-year old startup offers 3-4 star hotel rooms for short and long stays.

There is a unique need for hotels in India that StayUncle is trying to address. Young couples looking for some privacy in conservative India are often vulnerable to physical attacks by the police and self-appointed guardians of “Indian culture.”  Consenting unmarried adults often struggle to find hotel rooms for some private time.

Speaking about the business model,co-founder Blaze Arizanov says “There is absolutely no law which prevents unmarried couples from booking rooms in a hotel. Yet couples are subjected to humiliating questions by hotel staff or even outright refusals. And, in some of the shadier ones, raids by the police.”

Though not illegal, booking a room by unmarried couple is still viewed by some as an act that is against ‘Indian culture’ .  So much so that many hotels outright refuse to give the rooms out.

The company has tied up with hotels where unmarried couples can rent rooms for short duration of  8-10 hours.

About their Process:“Your friend who Whatsapps till 5 am in the morning knows about StayUncle. That shy girl next door knows about StayUncle. Even your cooking maid from Bihar knows about StayUncle.

StayUncle is India’s first and best portal for booking secure and safe hotels for married and unmarried couples both with local or other city ID proof. Absolutely safe, no judgement and completely secure from harassment and all other bullshit.”

StayUncle Team


Startup Bytes

Co-Founders:  Sanchit Sethi, Blaze Arizanov
Startup Focus:  Enabling Services with technology. Provide customers luxury couple friendly Hotel Bookings for short stays!!
Future Plans:  Couples need a room not a judgement. Aims to retain lead as India’s premier portal for booking secure, safe and private space for couples

Competitors:  Oyo rooms, AirBnb and other hotel consolidators

Startup stage and funding: Recently crossed the $1-million mark in sales, and it’s only growing despite the “crowded niche” and “price wars”

Q&A: Interview with Co-founder Blaze Arizanov

How did you get started with the idea?
Couples demanded that we initiate it after seeing that we were giving rooms by the hour for other type of guests like business travelersWho are your main competitors?     
No ideas are unique. There are just better executed. Oyo Rooms which started doing the same last year is our biggest competitor at the momentWho are the main customers of Stay Uncle?
Young couples looking for privacy, mostly in urban city environments

How do you plan to address practical challenges?
Our biggest challenge is still persuading the hotels to accept the concept and step into 21st century

What are your plans to go global?  
India will suffice is for now. Plenty of stuff are there to be done here

Tell us about your business model. Where do you see yourselves in a year?
We have 51% market share of the couple friendly hotel booking category. We hope to continue with the lead

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