Excerpt from TechCrunch
Airbnb may have been founded on the premise of renting out spare sofa or bed space as a cheap alternative to hotels, but the company has moved upmarket in a big way, and is about to take that up another notch. The company is in the late stages of acquiring Luxury Retreats, an Airbnb-style service that focuses on high-end homes, for a price believed to be around $200 million, our sources say.
The potential deal for Luxury Retreats was first reported by Bloomberg, at a price of under $300 million.
Airbnb, one source notes, “is deeply interested in the company because of their extremely talented team with deep experience in the luxury segment. Their capability in the luxury is unrivalled and complimentary to the capabilities at Airbnb.” Homes on the platform include a villa owned by Francis Ford-Coppola in Puglia, Italy; and Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
This would fit in with Airbnb’s wider remit, too, to continue diversifying its user base and income, potentially ahead of a public listing. The company has now raised close to $3 billion and last summer filed to raise $850 million at a $30 billion valuation.
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