One of India’s largest hospitality companies, OYO, is expanding into Japan with the help of its biggest investor — Softbank.
The joint venture will cover rentals for homes and hotel accommodations, according to a report in TechCrunch. SoftBank led OYO’s $1 billion funding round last year.
OYO began in India by offering budget hotels, and it’s expanded into Malaysia, the UAE, Indonesia, the U.K. and others. China has been particularly promising for the company, because it has a huge room inventory.
OYO has evolved from dealing mainly with budget hotels to a bigger emphasis on hospitality, which includes private homes, weddings, holiday planning and co-working spaces. While the company’s main targeted demographic was budget-focused customers, it has since expanded to include travelers, mostly in the business field.
Prasun Choudhary, a founder of OYO, will lead the Japanese joint venture, and the company wants to appeal to small and medium-sized hotels and owners. For consumers, the venture will focus on “budget to mid-segment hospitality.”
Ken Miyauchi, president and CEO of SoftBank Corp said the combination of the two companies should make for a successful venture.
"Combining OYO's most advanced business model with SoftBank's knowledge of the Japanese market, we will provide a brand new hotel experience to travellers in Japan," Miyauchi said in a statement. “Moreover, OYO Hotels Japan offers various values for owners such as dynamic pricing and reservation systems, contributing to the elimination of labour shortages and flexible pricing. We are sure that OYO Hotels Japan will contribute to the revitalisation of the travel market, including inbound tourism and regional revitalisation in Japan."
Ritesh Agarwal, group CEO and founder, OYO hotels and homes, said that Japan was rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.
"Now, through our new entity, OYO Hotels Japan, we will be focused on creating unique hospitality experiences for both domestic and international travelers in Japan,” Agarwal said. “OYO is already the most preferred brand in the budget to mid-segment hospitality space in several global markets, where our operational expertise in revenue management and distribution, through offline and online channels, has helped us gain significant momentum."