Yahoo Japan walks out of joint venture with OYO Life


Almost ten months ago, India’s major budget hotel chain OYO’s house rental services called ‘OYO Life’ had launched in Japan with a joint venture with Yahoo Japan Corporation.

Following the deal, Yahoo was the owner of 30% shares in OYO’s subsidiary company in Japan. However, the partnership could not survive even for a year, as Yahoo sold its holding back to the OYO on the pretext of continuous complaints from hotel owners over the contract.

Meanwhile, the Gurugram-based firm deeming this development baseless, claiming that the parent is ‘buying into’ its own business.

OYO’s spokesperson has stated in a Business Insider report that the company is buying back its ownership earlier held by Yahoo to sustain its growth trajectory as the move will provide them with oversight into the operations, ensuring improved efficiencies, and customer services.

Japan has been considered an important market for OYO Life because of the country will be hosting the 2020 Olympics. According to several media reports in the past, the upcoming Olympic will help the Ritesh Agarwal-led firm to establish its home rental business in the country of the rising sun.

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

Japan is not the only country where OYO has been facing hurdles. Over the past few months, it faced the wrath of hoteliers in the US, China as well as India. In an interview with ET this week, Agarwal mentioned that the percentage of the disgruntled hotelier is less than 2%.

Agarwal also emphasised that OYO’s business and operational model are entirely different from WeWork. The SoftBank-backed WeWork crashed in the recent time as its valuation sharply declined from $46 billion to under $10 billion.

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