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Guesthouser.com appoints Jinesh Sonawala COO

guesthouserGuestHouser.com, which connects travelers with private property owners for short-term accommodation, has appointed former Hubtown Ltd executive Jinesh Sonawala as chief operating officer.

In a press statement, the startup said that Sonawala will be responsible for overall growth and expansion.

Sonawala, who graduated from Stanford University, has worked with Silicon Valley majors such as Apple, Google and Avago.

More recently, he was chief marketing officer of Mumbai-based real estate developer Hubtown Ltd. Sonawala also worked closely with partners of Lightspeed Venture Capital on their India strategy, the company said. Presently, he sits on the boards of three tech startups.

Founded in 2014, by Boston University graduate Dhruv Sharma, Guesthouser.com (run by GuestHouser Pvt Ltd) curates a network of over 50,000 properties across the country. It allows second home owners to become hosts by listing properties on its site. The startup’s privately curated network consists of beach villas, hill station cottages, farmhouses, bungalows, boat houses, yachts and water homes. It has listings for 1,100 cities in India.

The company has already raised $800,000 in seed round from undisclosed investors.

Guesthouser.com would broadly compete with MyIndianStay, Stayzilla, Saffronstays.com, homestays.com, Airbnb and Homeaway besides horizontal online travel portals such as Yatra, MakeMyTrip and others.

Last month, home-stay accommodation listing platform MyIndianStay secured $200,000 (about Rs 1.3 crore) in angel funding from institutional investors.

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