The Real Deal New York

Airbnb to buy HotelTonight, marking company’s biggest acquisition

The startup is expanding its offerings as it prepares for an IPO
March 07, 2019 06:00PM

From left: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank (Credit: Getty Images)

Airbnb is expanding its portfolio of lodging services with its planned acquisition of HotelTonight.

The deal, which is reported to be valued around $465 million, would be Airbnb’s largest acquisition to date, according to the New York Times. That figure is reportedly close to Hotel Tonight’s most recent private valuation.

The purchase of HotelTonight, which offers last-minute hotel bookings to customers, will bolster Airbnb’s competitive stance against Expedia and Booking Holdings, the parent of Booking.com and Priceline.

Airbnb, which is now valued at $31 billion, has increasingly diversified its platform as it gears up for an initial public offering. The company has been looking to attract a wider range of travelers by listing boutique and luxury hotels.

The short-term holiday rental platform has been fending off an effort from local politicians in New York City to crack down on its presence. The city has conducted multiple raids in buildings across the city where apartments are being leased without a host present.

Led by Sam Shank, HotelTonight was founded in 2010 and has since raised $127 million in venture capital funding. In 2016, the company said it would go public, but those plans never materialized. [NYT]David Jeans