Saturday, January 26, 2019

Airbnb acquires Danish startup Gaest - Business Insider

Airbnb has acquired Gaest.com, an online marketplace for renting out meeting spaces for just hours at a time, the company announced Friday.

Gaest was founded in Denmark in 2015 by CEO Anders Mogensen. It's used by guests to book spaces for meetings, team building events and "even photoshoots," according to the press release. Gaest lets hosts list their own spaces for rent just like Airbnb lets hosts rent out their personal spaces to vacationers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Airbnb was last valued at $31 billion in 2017.

"Working professionals may spend more than half their waking hours at work. Meetings and events offer a unique opportunity for Airbnb to address local use cases and support our full community of diverse professionals," Airbnb said in a statement.

Gaest.com, which offers it service in numerous countries across six continents, will operate as a unique platform for now, though its employees will join Airbnb, according to the statement.

The acquisition comes just a couple of weeks after Airbnb disclosed that it's been profitable for the last two years, at a time when profitability is quite rare for even the most successful venture-back startups, including Uber and Lyft.

Airbnb is also rumored to be pursing an IPO.

It also highlights a new growth strategy with Airbnb. By moving into workspace, Airbnb gears up to compete against companies like WeWork, which let nomadic workforces rent out desk space and meeting rooms for short periods of time.

WeWork, which recently rebranded to The We Company, was last valued at $47 billion in a January financing round led by SoftBank.



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