Starting with the concept of sharing living space in one’s home, Airbnb has evolved into a lot more. From attracting business travellers to taking steps towards being one stop travel solution, the accommodation unicorn is doing it all. Now, in order to move up another step, Airbnb is reportedly in talks with Canada based Luxury Retreats for an acquisition.
Luxury Retreats has raised close to USD 16 million in funding and is already profitable for a while. The deal size is estimated to be around USD 200 million. The move would help Airbnb move ahead towards being a one stop shop for travel before a possible IPO. Both the companies are tight lipped about the acquisition.
Luxury Retreats focuses heavily on vetting the properties to offer the best, to give the guest experience a much higher priority. The company works on a commission model similar to Airbnb while keeping a tighter control on the properties. It has a presence in 90 markets across the world generating about USD 150 million in gross bookings a year. It also offers customers access to private chefs, bartenders and masseuses in line with its offering.
Airbnb was last valued at USD 30 billion and turned a profit for the first time in 2016. It is expected to maintain profitability this year. The acquisition, while helping Airbnb in strengthening its position outside of budget homestays, would also keep the OTAs with increasing interest in alternatives stays at bay.