Sonder double hire supports Scottish growth
Jeremy Rawlinson and Daniel Dyball
Tech-enabled hospitality company, Sonder, has made two appointments as it gears up for expansion in Scotland as part of its major global growth strategy this year.
The company, founded in Montreal with offices across North America, has appointed Jeremy Rawlinson as UK general manager and Daniel Dyball as senior director, public policy, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Sonder operates 30 managed service apartments at Queen Street in Edinburgh, which is expected to expand to 45 this year. The company is set to open its maiden Glasgow property, a 41-unit managed service apartment block at Finnieston, in the next few months.
The ambition of the company is to grow its portfolio in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the next few years.
Sonder’s investment in technology, both to enhance the guest experience and underpin back-end operations, has been a major asset in the COVID-19 crisis. Its technology, for example, allows guests to check in via their mobile phone, and access their room via a digital lock, without having to interact with staff.
Sonder offices in Queen Street
The appointments come at an important time, with guests increasingly seeking out a contactless experience.
Given this, Sonder is well-positioned to support the tourism recovery as the sector looks to bounce back from the pandemic, sustaining jobs, stimulating the economy and ensuring under-used properties deliver the value they should.
Mr Rawlinson will lead the UK operation. He began his career at onefinestay in 2012 where he held multiple operational roles including launching new markets.
He joined Deliveroo in 2014 as its 10th employee and held multiple roles — including general manager for Rest of UK and setting up and expanding its delivery-only kitchens concept “Editions” as a global director and director of global expansion. This included launching Deliveroo’s service in new locations around the world, including Dunfermline, Dumfries, Falkirk and Livingston.
Mr Dyball has more than 15 years’ experience in corporate and regulatory affairs and will focus on growing Sonder’s business responsibly and sustainably across Europe.
He joins Sonder’s EMEA leadership team and has held senior policy roles at public service broadcaster Channel 4 where he worked on policy issues, including increasing the amount of programming made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the UK National Lottery operator Camelot and HM Treasury.
Prior to joining Sonder, he worked as UK executive director at Internet Association, the trade body for leading internet companies where he ran its first international office in the UK and supported internet companies’ growth across the four nations, engaging constructively with the government, media and third sector on a wide range of tech policy and regulatory issues.
Harsh Mehta, VP of EMEA, said: “We are delighted to welcome both Jeremy and Daniel to the Sonder team as we continue to grow in Scotland and across Europe this year, supporting the local communities and cities in which we operate through sustaining jobs and stimulating the economy.”
Mr Rawlinson said: “It is great to be joining Sonder as the company looks to expand its global presence, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“We will not only be enhancing our current operation in Edinburgh, but also have plans to open a new property at Finnieston in Glasgow as part of our strategy for growth across the UK.
“With guests seeking a contactless experience now more than ever, we are well-positioned due to our leading-edge technology to deliver this and provide travellers peace of mind — and to support the recovery of the tourism sector in the future.”
Mr Dyball said: “I’m delighted to be joining Sonder during such a pivotal growth phase as the company expands responsibly across EMEA.
“Through its industry-leading technology, unique business model and world-class team, Sonder is powering innovation in the travel and hospitality sector. I look forward to partnering with policymakers and local communities to help bring guests memorable experiences in truly remarkable spaces.”
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