Stayzilla has hired Pankaj Gupta as Chief Product Officer and President of Technology. Pankaj was most recently at Twitter in San Francisco where he joined as an early employee and led the Personalization and Recommendations team. He and his team were behind many of Twitter’s successful search, discovery, and other data products and technologies across web and mobile. Pankaj tweeted the news and wrote about it on his blog today.
Yogendra Vasupal, Co-founder and CEO, Stayzilla, said, “We are delighted to have Pankaj join us at Stayzilla. Pankaj brings with him years of experience leading product and technology for a platform built around a huge community. With Stayzilla’s growth in homestays and community-based hosting, we could not have found a better person or time for him to lead our Product and Technology.”
Pankaj Gupta added, “I’m excited to be working with Yogi and Stayzilla wherein I can put my passion for innovation and building consumer products together. I look forward to working with a great team on this amazing opportunity.”
Before Twitter, Pankaj has founded two startups that were both acquired. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Computer Science where he won the award for the best thesis, and an undergraduate from IIT Delhi where he stood first in the Dept. of Computer Science. He has published more than 30 papers and holds more than 20 patents.
Pankaj will be shifting base from San Francisco to join Stayzilla at their Bengaluru office.
Founded in 2005 by Vasupal and Sachit Sanghi, Stayzilla raised $15 million in Series B round of funding led by venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor Matrix Partners India in February 2015. The company had raised an undisclosed amount in its Series A round of funding from Matrix in October 2013 and secured $0.5 million in seed funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN) in 2012.
It is a platform (website and app) for verified homestays and alternate stays. It has more than 55,000 homestay and alternate stay options across 4000 towns in India. The platform caters to both home owners and travelers looking for differentiated, unique stay experiences. Stayzilla offers special selective ‘community’ feature on the app that matches hosts and guests by their preferences and shared interests.
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