OYO forms JV with Softbank to begin hotel operations in Japan

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Published: April 4, 2019 11:29:18 AM

Hotel chain OYO Hotels and Homes has announced setting up of a joint venture with Softbank, to begin its operations in Japan on Thursday. The joint entity -- OYO Hotels Japan G.K will be led by Prasun Choudhary, one of OYO’s founding members, as its operating partner.

Softbank is OYO’s largest shareholder with a stake of around 45 per cent.

Hotel chain OYO Hotels and Homes has announced setting up of a joint venture with Softbank, to begin its Japan operations on Thursday. The joint entity — OYO Hotels Japan G.K will be led by Prasun Choudhary, one of OYO’s founding members, as its operating partner.

“Given our (Softbank and OYO) shared vision for a digital future, we are excited to support a Vision Fund portfolio company in deploying cutting edge technologies and services to Japan,” Ken Miyauchi, President & CEO, SoftBank Corp, said in a company statement.

Softbank is OYO’s largest shareholder with a reported stake of around 45 per cent. OYO had raised $1 billion from Softbank Vision fund in September 2018 and an additional $100 million from Softbank and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. Its last fundraising was of $100 million by digital hospitality company Airbnb earlier this week, as per deals tracker Crunchbase.

For homeowners, Miyauchi said that it will offer dynamic pricing and reservation systems that would help in eliminating the shortage of labour and flexible pricing.

OYO is looking to leverage Japan’s rising prominence as Asia’s tourist destination by giving travellers a better alternative for staying. The company is also eyeing the country’s independent hoteliers to enable them deep technology tools including AI and Machine to manage their hotels.

“AI and machine learning powered hotel management system, predictive analytics-led pricing and revenue management helps them (hoteliers) focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes,” said Ritesh Agarwal, Group CEO & Founder, OYO Hotels & Homes.

The company had, in February, announced partnering with Yahoo Japan Corporation to launch its housing rental product OYO Life targeting students and young professionals.

“We recently announced the launch of our living spaces in Japan, starting with the housing rental business – OYO Life. Now, through our new entity, OYO Hotels Japan, we will be focused on creating unique hospitality experiences for both domestic and international travellers in Japan,” added Agarwal.

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