After announcing the launch of OYO Life in Japan through a joint venture with Yahoo! JAPAN, Oyo on Thursday announced that it had started its hotel operations in Japan through a joint venture with Tokyo-based Softbank Corp and Softbank Vision fund. This joint venture forms OYO Hotels Japan.
Ken Miyauchi, President and CEO of SoftBank Corp, said in a press statement, "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."
He added: "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. "
Oyo Hotels Japan will be led by Prasun Choudhary, who will work as an operating partner and a founding member. The team aims to provide convenient and affordable accommodations to travellers in Japan, and also create increased business opportunities for its partners.
Ritesh Agarwal, Group CEO and Founder, OYO Hotels and Homes said Japan was fast emerging as one the most popular Asian tourist destinations, and that the team sees this as big opportunity.
"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. 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."
OYO Hotels Japan will now provide a full-scale technology led hospitality model to hoteliers across the country. The team says it will empower small and independent asset owners in Japan with its rapid transformation capabilities and integrated hotel, or ryokan, management system powered by advanced AI technology that will help owners improve efficiency and profitability.
“We are looking forward to be empowering Japan’s independent hoteliers with the latest technology innovations like AI and machine learning-powered hotel/ryokan management system, predictive analytics-led pricing and revenue management, and seamless operational expertise that helps them focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes," Ritesh said.
Despite the $1 billion in funding it mopped up in 2018, the journey hasn’t been easy. Growing at breakneck speed, OYO faced just about every challenge that a rapidly scaling startup does: complaints about the quality of properties and services, messed-up reservations, and customer complaints going viral on social media.
In that sense OYO has a great market in India and globally. It now has over 3,20,000 rooms in China and by September 2018 had wrangled a spot in the top 20 hotel chains in the country. Its rooms are priced between $22 and $36 per night, below the price range of most branded chains. Worldwide, OYO added over 140,000 rooms in a day to its network in September 2018 alone. It is currently running a pilot in the US.