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Rental businesses

Now, Oyo Checks into Japan

The hospitality chain will offer technology-driven rental housing products to Japanese students, citizens, and young professionals
Now, Oyo Checks into Japan
Image credit: Pexels
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

The  well-known hospitality chain OYO knows no boundaries. The Indian unicorn is going all out in its plan for global expansion. After launching its operations across countries, including Malaysia, Nepal, China, Dubai and Indonesia, OYO stepped into the Japanese territory last month. The Ritesh Agarwal-led firm formed a joint venture in February to start OYO LIFE services in Tokyo, with more than 1,000 residential units, under which it will offer technology-driven rental housing products to Japanese students, citizens, and young professionals.

OYO teamed up with Yahoo Japan Corporation and appointed Hiro Katsuse as the Chief Executive Officer to oversee operations in Japan.

According to a Press Trust of India report, the service has gone live with over 1,000 keys across Tokyo. The company has already received over 11,000 pre-registrations and there is strong interest coming from students and young professionals.

"OYO LIFE is geared to provide a hassle-free, tech-driven, upgraded living experience at an affordable price in Japan. The service has gone live with over 1,000 keys across Tokyo. We have already received over 11,000 pre-registrations and there is strong interest coming from students and young professionals," OYO Hotels and Homes’ Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Ritesh Agarwal told PTI.

Budget Properties On the Go

The Japanese home rental market is large and growing with a market size of 12 trillion yen ($108 Billion) but has its own share of challenges and problems. Much like India, young Japanese people who are looking to rent a decent property, face similar challenges like researching for the property, dealing with a plethora of agents and middle-men, paying upfront deposits and signing long-term leases. Even if a young person finds a place to rent after overcoming all these barriers, a new set of challenges rises, such as arranging furniture, appliances and other essential items for the property. This is a hugely challenging task that requires time, energy and money.

This is where OYO is planning to introduce itself. According to the company, OYO LIFE is an ideal solution with ready-to-move-in beautifully designed homes. There is also financial freedom with minimal deposits and no lock-in periods and privacy so that users can save and spend the way they like. 

Through this joint venture both companies promise to deliver good quality fully managed homes at affordable prices. Kentaro Kawabe, Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo! Japan, believes that with local know-how, online distribution network and marketing support, OYO LIFE will soon emerge as the most preferred abode for the Japanese citizens and visitors in the county.

The Japanese people have lapped up subscription-based services in music, video, apparel, and furniture increase, which has resulted in a change in consumer mindset from ‘owning to sharing’ resources. With more than 90 per cent of the Japanese population living in cities, OYO LIFE is an ideal product for the Japanese citizens.

US-based Airbnb has confirmed it has picked up stake in OYO rooms. According to reports, the home renting startup has closed the investment in the Series E round being raised by OYO.

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