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Airbnb to acquire last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight

Airbnb is expanding its lodging business with a proposed acquisition of last-minute hotel booking service HotelTonight. The cost of the transaction was not disclosed.

The move comes ahead of Airbnb’s IPO later this year and could help make the company an even more attractive proposition for investors.

HotelTonight, which helps travelers find same-day accommodation through its app or website, was launched in 2010 and currently offers hotel rooms in more than 1,700 cities in approximately 35 countries. The business will continue to operate as usual after the acquisition, at least for now.

Both based in San Francisco, Airbnb announced its intention to acquire HotelTonight in a message posted on its website on Thursday, March 7.

Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, said the move is part of his plan to create an end-to-end travel platform that can serve every customer, “whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance”. Beyond accommodations, Airbnb’s expanding service also offers carefully curated activities and experiences for travelers, as well as spaces for business meetings and other gatherings.

Commenting on the agreed acquisition, Sam Shank, CEO and Co-Founder of HotelTonight, said: “We started HotelTonight because we knew people wanted a better way to book an amazing hotel room on demand, and we are thrilled to partner with Airbnb. to bring this service to customers around the world. Shank added that with Airbnb, HotelTonight will be able to provide more choices for travelers as it will help them connect with boutique hotels and independent hotels.

Exactly a year ago, Airbnb signaled its growing interest in boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts by inviting owners of such places to list their properties on its platform. Airbnb’s move was seen as an effort to broaden the appeal of its service while steering businesses away from travel booking sites such as and Expedia. The results of the company’s strategic maneuver already look promising for those involved, with Airbnb guests booking three times as many nights at boutique hotels in 2018 compared to 2017.

Airbnb was launched in 2008 and now offers approximately six million listings and tens of thousands of experiences in more than 80,000 cities around the world.

But it hasn’t all been easy for the business, with parts of the hospitality industry complaining of an unfair playing field as hosts generally face fewer regulations to operate their business. Laws are starting to change, but like other disruptive platforms, authorities have been slow to respond.

Long-term renters in big cities are also feeling pressured by rising prices caused by fewer rental units, with landlords opting to shift properties to more lucrative short-term accommodations for services like Airbnb.

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