DIG Investment’s Martin Söderström backs Oyo’s European biz, joins board

The logo of OYO, India's largest and fastest-growing hotel chain, installed on a hotel building is seen through wires in an alley in New Delhi, India, September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Hospitality firm Oyo Hotels and Homes has appointed Martin HP Söderström, the chairman of DIG Investment, as a non-executive director at its European arm, Oyo Vacation Homes.

“As a mark of his trust and commitment towards the company, Martin will also buy shares worth an undisclosed amount in the parent company,” it said on Monday.

Oyo launched its European business in May 2019, focusing on vacation rentals. Vacation homes are a large and critical part of its global business and the firm will continue to expand it and invest in it, Oyo said.

In recent months, 3,400 homeowners from across Europe have joined the platform, adding more than 5,000 units to its portfolio of 140,000 homes.

As a board member, Söderström will work closely with Oyo’s management team to drive growth and offer guidance on potential merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. He will also help build strategic partnerships with other EU-based companies and lay out its brand positioning strategy as a thought leader in the vacation rental space, Oyo said.

“For Oyo, its customers and homeowners in the EU region, especially in the Nordics, hold immense strategic importance. Given Martin’s deep understanding of the region and strong business acumen, I am elated to welcome him as an investor and a fellow board member at Oyo Europe,” Oyo founder and group chief executive officer Ritesh Agarwal said.

Oyo’s vacation homes business is leading the road to recovery and the preference of small hotels and vacation homes over large five-star properties is leading a structural change in the hospitality industry, he said.

“We are positive that his 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 initial public offering,” he said.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.