London: Spotahome has announced the appointment of Amazon’s Angel Azcarraga as its chief technology officer.
Azcarraga, who led and scaled the technology and product teams of the Amazon search customer experience in Seattle, is tasked with cultivating the tech infrastructure and engineering teams of the Madrid-based rental marketplace from its newly-launched London hub, in anticipation for rapid global growth in the coming years.
Spotahome has also revealed it is set to increase the size of its workforce by almost 100 per cent this year, with many of the hires expected to be made up of engineers and product managers, and over 100 of which will sit under Azcarraga’s lead.
Azcarraga’s six years of experience growing technology and product teams at Amazon global HQ in Seattle, most recently leading an organisation of over 140 employees in Search, will allow Spotahome to grasp the market quickly and scale fast to reinvent the way people search for rental properties.
Whilst at Amazon, Azcarraga led a global team of engineers, product managers, and applied scientists responsible for building the applications and user interfaces that deliver multi-device Amazon Search in more than 14 countries. There, he developed applications and services that are used by millions of people everyday to search, discover and purchase on Amazon.
Prior to Amazon, Azcarraga spent nine years working as an engineer, lead, and principal engineering manager for Microsoft HQ in Seattle, where he led teams to implement core workflow capabilities for global business systems, Microsoft Azure and Office 65.
As CTO, Azcarraga is joining Spotahome at a a pivotal time for the company, as it prepares to open a new global operational hub in London, where over 200 people will be hired due to its $40m Series B funding round in 2018. His appointment follows that of former Uber EMEA operations director Cleo Sham as COO and former Amazon executive executive Balaji Nageswaran as CPO.
In a competitive hiring market, Azcarraga highlighted the importance of execution and long-term vision for the Spotahome recruitment policy that he will implement.
He said: “The vision and opportunity to scale at Spotahome captured my attention from the very beginning. It’s critical to strengthen your culture with every hire, especially at the rate and scale we’re pursuing and I will be personally involved in the recruitment and hiring process for all engineers.”
Azcarraga said he believes tech skills can be taught but leadership and a passion for the mission in each appointment will be what drives growth, opportunity and innovation at Spotahome.
Spotahome CEO and founder, Alejandro Artacho, said: “Angel was responsible for a team and tech stack that serviced millions of customers for the most successful e-commerce marketplaces in the world, harnessing technology to drive purchases for a company that more than tripled net income in 2018, while maintaining a strong cultural identity.
“His experience designing software systems for huge scale and performance will enable Spotahome to leverage massive amounts of data within the global property market to power and innovative new rental experiences for landlords and tenants.
“Angel is a natural leader; he led teams across geographies and scaled search to drive further growth globally at Amazon; in addition, he understands the challenges and opportunities of online marketplaces to deliver a seamless experience which we want to replicate at Spotahome,” he added.
In the past year alone, Spotahome has secured almost half of the $200m total contract value (TCV) for its European landlords with more than seven and a half million total nights booked on its platform to date.
The company is looking to build on this success in 2019 at its London hub, where it will be able to access the Silicon Roundabout talent pool and have greater visibility on the global real estate market.
Spotahome CTO Angel Azcarraga said: “Spotahome presents a great opportunity to really make a difference, it’s a game-changing product that will improve the overall renting experience for both owners and tenants.
“Alejandro has built an incredible product, team and company culture, and his sheer commitment, passion and ambition is reflected in his achievements with Spotahome so far. Furthermore, Spotahome is backed by a serious set of investors who have invested in technologies that have truly disrupted the way we understand the world.
“The renting of real estate can be a painful and antiquated process; despite the rise of internet and mobile phones, many of us continue to rent properties the same way it was done 30+ years ago. The PropTech market needs to move from basic pictures with a phone number to call, to modern and regulatory-compliant, mobile-based transactions.
“I’m excited to be part of an incredibly talented, diverse new team that’s tackling this problem, with the goal of delivering a cohesive, customer-centric product that will transform the rental booking experience,” he added.
Azcarraga has now relocated to London from Seattle to take up the post.
For more information on the appointment, visit the Spotahome website here.