UAE: The Dubai-based short-term rental company Gallery Suites has reached out to purchase start-up OYO’s home division.
This is in the face of OYO having to scale back growth in light of major shifts in the market.
Gallery Suites is owned by Dubai based investor IBC Group, which focuses on art, property and real estate in the gulf. The company is their holiday home rental arm.
Khurram Shroff, Gallery Suites’ CEO has reportedly reached out to OYO, offering to fund and restructure the corporation. The two currently have an agreement in place to manage around 10,000 holiday homes in India and the UAE that totals around Dh18 billion.
The intention is to change from a management arrangement to an agent arrangement, ensuring that Gallery Suites’ properties will be still listed on the OYO platform. Shroff said in a statement: “Our intention is to find positives in the emerging circumstances.”
One of Shroff’s largest goals is to save jobs, many of which were cut from OYO because of their overall corporate downsizing. They have reportedly seen 350 offers form former OYO employees to work with the Dubai group.
Gallery Suites have sent out an open letter, offering employees currently working for OYO or recently laid off to come work for them.
A corporate statement from Gallery Suites said: “As an entrepreneur who is active in the short-term rentals and holiday homes space, which OYO has also been involved in, Mr. Shroff is a great supporter and champion of the concept and believes in the OYO brand. To this end, he believes that his initiative can help the employees, along with his open offer to buy out the home division instead of going in for a partnership.”
This announcement foreshadows future troubles for OYO, who were at a certain point in time, seen as the next major hospitality unicorn. They were one of the jewels in the crown of Softbank’s vision fund, a group that contains Airbnb and notorious co-working start-up WeWork.