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Start-Up Review: HostelSearch

A couple of days ago I came across an interesting start-up: HostelSearch.

The venture is some-what similar to the property rent/sale websites but only for hostels in different cities across India.

Core Idea:
HostelSearch is a hostel listing, finding, reviewing and booking service, which also provides information about paying guest accommodations, rooms, service apartment etc. It lists residential accommodations and gives details about these places.

Progress till now:
Starting in Bhopal, this venture has now spread out to 46 other cities in India. Having launched in July 2010, HostelSearch has a team of 15 people with a physical presence in seven cities in India and they are now planning to expand across India by hiring people on a full-time basis.

Revenue Model:
HostelSearch has a straight-forward revenue model wherein they earn from their normal listing, which starts from Rs 5000 per annum, premium listing and advertisements.


  • Ease of use and convenience to the customers searching for hostel accommodation.
  • Do not have any worthwhile competition till now. Sulekha.com will be the biggest competitor.


  • Unlike in hotels, people tend to stay for longer periods in a hostel. The hostel might not want to list on the website because of no/low vacancy.
  • Most of the searches for hostels are done on Sulekha.com. It will be difficult to replace Sulekha.
  • If any one of the major names properties buy/sell/rent decides to enter the hostel search space, will be a big challenge to Hostel Search
  • Low entry barriers. It will be difficult for Hostel Search to create a niche.

Website: http://www.hostelsearch.in/

  1. Harjot Sidhu
    November 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    This can turn into a good resource website if they keep updating it regularly. People tend to stay longer in a hostel, but in a PG its not that long. And moreover searching for a good PG or even a hostel is a very frustrating job. I have had a first hand experience in this, and the existing websites such as Sulekha, Grotal etc all fall miserably short in assisting the user.
    This can turn into a good venture, if they can maintain an updated database and keep the site simple and user friendly.

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