OYO enters into joint venture with Yahoo! Japan

India: Indian hotels leasing and franchising chain OYO Hotels & Homes has entered into a joint venture with Yahoo! Japan to launch OYO Technology & Hospitality Company.

OYO’s popular housing rental product from India, OYO Living, will now be renamed as OYO LIFE and the company says it will begin its operations from March. It aims to be a “first of its kind, hassle-free and technology-driven rental housing offering”.

The joint venture between Yahoo! Japan and OYO will combine Yahoo’s marketing and distribution capabilities with OYO’s ability to transform and manage rental housing properties with the help of technology.

The revamped company is targeting the growing millennial population of Japan as its primary demographic, which consists of students and young professionals, as it seeks to provide upgraded living experiences for affordable prices.

Hiro Katsuse, who is a former market leader for Handy and Booking.com in Japan, has been appointed as the CEO of the OYO Living.

OYO Hotels and Homes CEO and founder, Ritesh Agarwal, said: “After successfully growing our business in our home markets, India and China, and expanding our presence to nine countries, we are really excited about commencing our operations in our third and potentially the largest home market – Japan.”

Yahoo! Japan CEO Kentaro Kawabe said: “We are really happy to partner with OYO through this joint venture and we are certain about that with a promise to deliver good quality fully managed homes at affordable prices.”

Meanwhile, OYO has also expanded its operations in Saudi Arabia, extending its presence beyond its existing locations in the Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, China and Indonesia.

OYO had earlier been at loggerheads with the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) over issues relating to predatory pricing and over-board discounts. The company was allegedly boycotted over several Indian cities including Delhi and Sikkim as the deadlock between them continued.

OYO Hotels and Homes has also recently raised $100 million from Star Virtue Investments.

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