OYO secures fresh cheque, onboards new director for European vacation homes biz

OYO secures fresh cheque, onboards new director for European vacation homes biz
Photo Credit: VCCircle
11 Jan, 2021

Budget hotel aggregator OYO on Monday said it has received an investment from Martin Söderström, with the Swedish businessman also joining the board of directors in the company’s European Vacation Homes business. 

The Gurugram headquartered startup did not disclose the amount of investment.

As a non-executive director, Söderström will provide guidance on potential merger and acquisition opportunities, and assist OYO in building deep strategic partnerships with other leading, EU-based companies in the vacation rental space, a statement said.

Söderström, husband of fast fashion retailer H&M heir Charlotte Söderström, manages multiple investment funds on an individual capacity. He founded DIG Investment, an investment office focused on direct investments in the global alternatives markets in 2011.

DIG Investment’s primary area of investments are in tech-related companies in the growth to pre-IPO phase. It has a portfolio in Asia, Europe and the United States within consumer brands, shared economies, retail, hospitality. 

He also founded HMP, a single family office with additional business areas, in 2008.

Söderström, OYO said, will take an active interest in enabling OYO’s global growth in the European region and enable more strategic acquisitions such as TUI Ferienhaus, Stugsommar, Admiral Strand, Dancenter, among others for OYO.

OYO Vacation Homes has brands such as Belvilla, DanCenter, Danland, Traum Ferienwohnugen, Stugsommar, TUI Ferienhausare. They are different vacation homes that OYO operates across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Nordic and Southern European countries.

In the past, OYO has appointed former Starbucks COO Troy Alstead, former SoftBank Vision Fund Operating Partner Gerardo Lopez, Baja Corporation founder and CEO Betsy Atkins, and former president of the American Accounting Association and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Steve Albrecht to its board.

OYO said its OYO Vacation Homes operates with over 50,000 homeowners, 140,000 homes in 70 countries worldwide and 2.8 million guests annually. The business unit is powered by proprietary technology, a revenue management suite, data science capabilities, operational capabilities and end-to-end ownership of customer and homeowner experience.

“For OYO, its customers and homeowners in the EU region, especially in the Nordics, hold immense strategic importance… We are positive that his (Söderström’s) deep experience in M&As and working with high-growth companies will add a lot of value to our growth journey in Europe, both organic and inorganic, and support us in our long-term goal of an IPO,” Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes, said. 

Read: OYO on cash runway, IPO and renewed focus on hotels, holiday homes biz

The SoftBank backed company had announced raising capital, last week, with a fresh funding from Hindustan Media Ventures amid signs of recovery in the sector badly hit by pandemic.

The company has also been in the news for chopping several jobs since December of 2019.