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Airbnb wants to be more than just a room-sharing enterprise

Besides leisure travelers, Airbnb definitely wants to attract business travelers as well. For example, Airbnb has already established a website page that tailors to business travelers. The company is also working closely with hosts in developing the products that meet business travelers' needs.

It is also clear that Airbnb wants to become a full-service travel company, especially when it faces the competition from hotels and OTAs. I proposed earlier that the competitions among room-sharing websites, hotels, and OTAs (online travel agents, such as Expedia and Travelocity) might have pushed OTAs to work more closely with room-sharing websites.

Expedia, for example, just spent $3.9 billion in 2015 to acquire the room-sharing website Homeaway. Today, in just 18 months after the acquisition, travelers are now able to check out residential rentals as well as the available hotel rooms in a tourist destination through Expedia.com and Kayak.com.

Evidence has now shown that Airbnb is also actively acquiring new businesses, including two in February:
  • Airbnb acquired Tilt, a startup for peer-to-peer payments and crowdfunding (e.g., splitting bills among travelers), indicating that Airbnb is interested in group travel.

It is almost certain that more acquisitions by Airbnb will follow. According to a Bloomberg business report, Airbnb is sitting on $3 billion in funding and plans to start using it.

As acquisition has become a popular means for companies to respond to the shifting landscape in the marketplace, what company will be the next in Airbnb's acquisition list? An OTA or something else?

To read a full discussion on Airbnb's acquisition, please visit http://bit.ly/lk022717 on MultiBriefs.com


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