Söderström joins Oyo Europe

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.

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“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.

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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.

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