In news from Airbnb, the world’s most prolific vacation sharing service is eyeballing a deal to acquire the payment app Tilt for between $10 and $20 million. If the deal goes through it will probably amount to an employee hire and some back end tech only. Tilt raised in excess of $60 million and was valued at $400 million only recently. Here’s some of the latest news from the world’s most talked about shared economy startup.
One way Airbnb can squeeze value out of Tilt is to integrate its tech within the vacation rental service’s booking service, and by allowing users to split the cost of a rental. Just last year Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky alluded to the company needing a way for group pay to be streamlined.
Airbnb has had its shares of ups-and-downs in recent months, what with massive expansion moves on top of legal issues surrounding local opposition to the vacation rental service. Towns large and small have risen up in opposition over Airbnb’s effects on housing prices and communities, while legislators want to regulate Airbnb hosts’ revenues with taxes.
The Silicon Valley startup everyone is talking about, has an army of lobbyists out and about trying to mitigate rules, while still more legions of marketers push the product globally. Scores of communities, individuals, and legislators are in contention with Airbnb, but the world’s hoteliers may end up being the biggest anti-Airbnb threat.
Just this month STR released the first data discerning Airbnb’s impact on hotel industry performance. The data showed what most hoteliers expected is actually true. Airbnb is hitting the industry in its bottom line. This report on the Las Vegas Sun delves more deeply into Airbnb’s cut into markets like Miama, where vacationers take ever more advantage of the benefits of the shared vacation economy.
On the plus side, Airbnb and other sharing entities like Uber afford clients a great opportunity many times. Billions are now generated by these and other platforms, but for every positive there seems to be an equally problematic negative. Airbnb hasn’t been without its share of controversy, including accounts of discrimination by Airbnb hosts against guests. It remains to be seen whether or not liabilities like taxes and regulatory demands dig too deeply into already questionable profits for the growing company.