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India's Oyo launches Japan hotels in SoftBank JV

The logo of OYO, India's largest and fastest-growing hotel chain, installed on a hotel building is pictured in an alley in New Delhi, April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

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 9984.T, 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 UBER.N.

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.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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