OYO Rooms, an Indian based hotel booking startup founded by Ritesh Agarwal is set to launch its operations in Japan as it eyes a share in the nation’s hotel market ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, reports Live Mint.
OYO’s largest investor having their home market in Japan reportedly played a significant part in the decision, and the recent round of investment from SoftBank will be partly dedicated to OYO’s operations in Japan. However, the estimated number of companies investing in the Japanese hotel industry is high as major players are waiting to enter the hotel industry.
Earlier this month, OYO raised $800 million from Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund and other investors, taking the company’s valuation to about $4 billion. Of the $800 million, OYO said it would invest around $600 million to strengthen its position in China. OYO’s website already lists at least two properties in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
OYO, run by Oravel Stays Pvt LTD, has been on an international expansion spree. The Gurugram-based company has set up operations in five countries within the last 12-18 months. The company is now present in India, China, Malaysia, the UK and Nepal.
Founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo was one of the breakout startups from the funding boom of 2015, raising a surprise $100 million from SoftBank. However, poor service by hotels slowed its aggressive expansion plans. Oyo, which began as a marketplace, today controls room inventory and is bullish on its new brand, Townhouse.
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