The acquisition points to two strategic developments at Airbnb, both aimed at helping the company diversity and grow its revenues.
The first is that it will build on Airbnb’s expansion into services for the business market.
This is an area where Airbnb has already been building inroads: It’s had a program in place since last year called Airbnb for Work, aimed at the business travel market and booking accommodations for business travelers, and it says that to date some 700,000 companies have seen employees sign up and book accommodation through the program.
Even before that, Airbnb had inked partnerships with corporate travel apps like Concur that are standard tools in large enterprises, so that its listings can also be discoverable alongside more classic hotels. That’s before you consider the number of people who may be booking on Airbnb for work trips but using their personal accounts to do so.
The idea of Airbnb for Work also taps into the trend of “consumerization” and how it has played out in the world of business travel. While some people will prefer to stay in business hotels and the amenities that come with that, others will opt for more individualized options that tap into local life.
That’s before you consider the average price differences between the two, where business hotels tend to reach into premium price points and Airbnb homes tend to come at a wider range of prices. To be sure, Airbnb is not the only one eyeing up ways of serving business users with their travel and meeting needs. A number of startups, like 2nd Address and Homelike, have sprung up to address the growth of business travelers looking for Airbnb-style options instead of business hotels for longer-term work trips.
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