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Airbnb to buy last-minute hotel booking site HotelTonight ahead of potential IPO

The acquisition of the business will bring Airbnb, which is an online platform for people to rent out their homes or rooms to holidaymakers, into the traditional hotel industry
Airbnb
Airbnb is targeting 1bn guests a year by 2028

Airbnb is to buy hotel booking site HotelTonight as it seeks to further expand the business beyond short-term home rentals ahead of a potential initial public offering.

HotelTonight partners with hotels to provide last-minute deals on accommodation.

The acquisition of the business will bring Airbnb, which is an online platform for people to rent out their homes or rooms to holidaymakers, into the traditional hotel industry.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. HotelTonight was valued at US$463mln in its last fundraising round in 2017.

The two sites will continue to operate separately but Aibnb said some HotelTonight listings will become part its platform in future.  Airbnb users will be directed to HotelTonight if no accommodation is available in areas they are looking to stay.

Airbnb, which was valued at US$31bn in a 2017 fundraising, is considering an IPO in the next two years.

Revenue Source

The deal will give Airbnb another source of revenue and customer growth, making it potentially more attractive to investors. It will also help the group tackle competition from other travel sites like Expedia and Priceline.

“Welcoming more boutique hotels to our platform will help us deliver on our commitment to make Airbnb for everyone, providing guests with the authentic, local experience they have come to expect on every trip,” said Airbnb co-founder and chief executive, Brian Chesky.

Airbnb has in recent years added premium and luxury home rentals to its platform and allowed boutique hotels to list their rooms on its site.  The group has more than 6mln listings for accommodation but most are privately owned homes or rooms.

Airbnb said it more than doubled the number of listings on its site for boutique hotel rooms, bed and breakfasts, hostels and resorts in 2018. 

The company expects to reach 500mln guest arrivals since it was founded in 2008 by the end of the first quarter.  It is aiming for 1bn guests a year by 2028.
HotelTonight’s co-founder and chief executive, Sam Shank, will run Airbnb’s boutique hotel division following the completion of the deal.

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