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OYO leverages SoftBank to launch house rental service in Japan


India’s major budget hotel chain OYO is on acquisition and expansion spree of late. Soon after raising $1 billion, it has been accelerating its expansion in the international market.

Now, the Gurugram-based firm has entered Japan with house rental services called OYO Life in a joint venture with Yahoo Japan Corporation. OYO, through the services, primarily aims to target students and young professionals in the country, which is considered the third largest home market.

For the uninitiated, SoftBank owns over 48 per cent stake in Yahoo Japan.

The company has been for the past few months trying to enter the Japan market. It eyes to leverage 2020 Olympic Games opportunity to achieve a dominant market share in the country.

“We are certain that we will deliver great value in the Japanese market, ” said Ritesh Agarwal, CEO & Founder, OYO Hotels and Homes in a statement.

At the same time, the hotel chain has also started operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has signed deals for 50 hotels with more than 3,000 rooms across seven cities.

In Saudi Arabia, the properties will be operated under the franchise model, with full inventory control similar to other markets like India and China. It will give affordable and trusted living options for travellers. The company also plans to create jobs for over 5,000 Saudi citizens by 2020.

In the last 12 months, the company has forayed in South Asian and European markets. The hotel brand is now present in Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Nepal, UK, Portugal, Spain, Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

Most recently, the company launched its operations in the United States of America. The Ritesh Agarwal led firm reportedly began testing its first property in Austin, Texas. An office has also been opened in Dallas.

Globally, OYO claimed to have about half a million rooms. It aspires to outnumber Marriott to become the world’s largest hotel chain by 2020.

In the last two years, the company’s global stayed room nights saw a 4.3X year on year growth from 6 million in December 2016 to 75 million in December 2018, as per the Information report.

In India, OYO’s revenue recorded a 3.5X jump in FY18 from Rs 120 crore in FY17 to Rs 416 crore. For FY19, the company again projects a 3X jump in revenue to Rs 1,500 crore.

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