Masayoshi Son’s $2 billion guarantee at risk as coronavirus hits star entrepreneur Ritesh Agarwal’s Oyo
Just nine months ago, Masayoshi Son publicly declared Ritesh Agarwal one of the star entrepreneurs backed by his SoftBank Group Corp. The Japanese billionaire boasted that Agarwal’s Oyo Hotels & Homes was poised to overtake the biggest hotel chains in the world just a few years after its founding. “It’s unimaginable,” Son said on stage at SoftBank World in Tokyo. “At 25, he’s going to be world’s biggest hotel king.”
Today, Oyo is freezing operations around the world and furloughing thousands of employees as it struggles to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Travel has slammed to a halt, leaving hotel rooms empty and losses rising.