Airbnb buys HotelTonight as it gears up to go public

Airbnb has acquired the hotel booking site for an undisclosed amount with the aim to use HotelTonight's platform for "seamless, on-demand" hotel bookings


Airbnb has announced that it is buying HotelTonight, a last-minute hotel booking site, ahead of its plan to go public later this year.

While the amount Airbnb acquired the company for remains undisclosed, HotelTonight, which is privately owned, was valued at $463m in its last fundraising round in 2017.

Founded in 2010, HotelTonight offers an online travel app that enables users to find discounted hotel accommodation around the world. Airbnb has stated that it plans to use the new platform to offer "seamless, on-demand booking" at a number of hotels across the globe.

"A big part of building an end-to-end travel platform is serving every guest, whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance," remarked Airbnb co-founder, CEO and head of community Brian Chesky. "Working with the incredible team at HotelTonight, we offer guests an unparalleled last-minute travel experience that provides unique, memorable hospitality on every trip, on any schedule, at any time."

Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight, noted: "We started HotelTonight because we knew people wanted a better way to book an amazing hotel room on-demand, and we are excited to join forces with Airbnb to bring this service to guests around the world. Together, HotelTonight and Airbnb can give guests more choices and the world's best boutique and independent hotels a genuine partner to connect them with guests."

San Francisco-based Airbnb began its life as a startup back in 2008, but now employs 4,000 people and expects to hit 500 million guest arrivals by the end of 1Q19. It was valued at more than $30bn in financing rounds between 2016 and 2017. The company has been profitable since 2016 and is now reportedly aiming to go public at the end of this year, with Chesky telling Recode last May that Airbnb will potentially be "ready to IPO" this year.

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