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Oyo (India) to Accelerate International Expansion

22 Feb 2019 - Indian unicorn Oyo is accelerating its international expansion and is entering the Japan market with a rental apartment service targeting millennials, said a report in Nikkei Asian Review.

Concurrently, the Indian budget hotel chain has also commenced operations in Saudi Arabia, where it has signed deals for 50 hotels with more than 3,000 rooms across seven cities, it said in a statement.

Earlier this month, SoftBank-backed Oyo was reported to have opened an office in Dallas, and renovating motels and no-frills hotels around Texas. The company had announced its foray in the Philippines last month. Oyo has already launched operations in multiple overseas locations including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia and the UAE over the last 18 months.

Gurugram-based Oyo, run by Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, had been looking to enter Japan for a few months now. A Mint report in October 2018 report said that the company was eyeing a dominant market share in Japan’s budget hotel market ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, the properties in Saudi Arabia will be operated under the franchise model with full inventory control similar to other markets like India and China, Oyo said. The company plans to set up two OYO Skill Institutes in Riyadh and Jeddah to train Saudi graduates in hotel management, the statement added.

Gurugram-based Oyo has raised a total of $1.7 billion across multiple funding rounds to date, according to Crunchbase. Last week, it reportedly raised $100 million from ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. In December, it raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding from Singapore ride-hailing company Grab to expand its services in Southeast Asia.

Overall, the company currently claims to have over 13,000 franchised or leased hotels and over 6,000 homes listed on its platform. It counts China and India as two of its biggest markets.

A recent Reuters report said that Oyo’s revenue for the fiscal year ended March 2018 stood at Rs 4.16 billion ($58 million), compared to Rs 1.2 billion ($16.7 million) a year ago. The hotel chain operator’s losses widened marginally to Rs 3.6 billion from Rs 3.55 billion a year ago.

Deal Street Asia