India's Oyo launches Japan hotels in SoftBank JV

FILE PHOTO: The logo of OYO installed on a hotel building is pictured in an alley in New Delhi, India, April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian hospitality unicorn Oyo’s Japanese arm has launched operations in over 100 hotels across the East Asian nation in a joint venture with majority investor SoftBank Group Corp, as the company looks for a path to profitability.

Softbank has been struggling to raise money for a second investment fund after the failed public offering of office-rental company WeWork - one of its marquee investments - and due to questions about the profitability of others such as Oyo and taxi aggregator Uber.

The Japanese tech giant has already invested nearly $1 billion in Oyo.

The SoftBank-Oyo partnership, Oyo Hotels Japan, opened hotels in over 50 Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Oyo said in a statement on Thursday.

It was not immediately known how much either of the companies have invested in the partnership, but a person aware of the development said SoftBank and its Vision Fund will have a 50% share in the venture.

(This story corrects headline, paragraph 1 to say company “has launched” hotels, not “set to launch”)

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich