OYO is now pressing ahead at full tilt with its international expansion plan. The Ritesh Agarwal-led hospitality chain has now launched ops in Japan — its second such announcement after Saudi Arabia — this week.
In Japan, OYO has partnered with Yahoo Japan for a joint venture, OYO Technology and Hospitality Japan, to start its co-living service OYO Living which is now dubbed as OYO Life. It will provide a rental apartment service targeting millennials. OYO will own 66.1% of the joint venture.
OYO LIFE aims to enter the housing rental segment in the country, targeting the young and growing population of Japan, starting with students and young professionals. Japanese entrepreneur and former Japan market leader for Handy and Booking.com, Hiro Katsuse has been appointed as the CEO, the newly formed joint venture company.
Set to be launched in early March, OYO Life, will enable users to find, rent and leave apartment rooms using a smartphone app. The service is targeting Japanese users who usually move into unfurnished homes but will now be able to move in to fully furnished homes with well-equipped basic necessities such as water and electricity.
“This new entity will be focused on creating unique living experiences for the Japanese citizens, students, and young professionals, looking for good quality affordable accommodations, starting with our fully managed homes brand – OYO LIFE,” said Ritesh Agarwal, CEO and founder, OYO Hotels and Homes.
It will not charge brokerage fees or additional fees such as security deposits, unlike the trend in Tokyo, as well as, Indian market. The monthly rental prices will range from $180 (¥20K)- $7,218 (¥800K) as it targets 1,000 listings in Tokyo’s prime areas by March-end.
OYO has now expanded its operations to 10 countries— India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, UK, UAE, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Overall, the company claims to control over 13K hotels and 3,000 homes listed on its platform.
The reports were rife that OYO is looking to expand into the United States, with a pilot project in Texas already in works. It may add 2K hotels — including small, urban hotels — in dozens of US states depending on the success of the pilot.
OYO has received commitments of $1Bn last year including $100 Mn from China’s Didi Chuxing. The company recorded a 3.5x jump in revenue from its India operations and a 4.3x Y-o-Y global sales growth for the year ended March 2018.
The association of OYO with Yahoo Japan comes with high expectations after the success of Indian digital payments player Paytm’s Japanese venture called PayPay last year.