Airbnb has announced its recent acquisition of Urbandoor, a platform specialising in the provision of extended stay options for corporate clients. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2015, Urbandoor, as noted by Crunchbase, differs from Airbnb in that it has a clear focus on catering to business travellers and relocations. What sets Urbandoor apart is not only its target audience. It also deals directly with property owners rather than tenants.
Essentially, Urbandoor works directly with prominent property companies such as Greystar, convincing property owners - rather than tenants - that long-term accommodation rentals are a mutually beneficial prospect. Notably, Greystar has invested in Urbandoor. However, full details of Urbandoor's financial history remain unclear.
There are two main objectives behind Airbnb's acquisition of Urbandoor.
The first is to bolster inventory in its Airbnb for Work segment. This segment has been expanding rapidly. Originally launched as Airbnb for Business, this facet of the company now accounts for 15 per cent of all the bookings on the platform. From 2015 to 2016, and again from 2016 to 2017, it has grown threefold. The service is used to orchestrate business-related travel by around 500,000 companies.
There remains a shortage of supply, despite robust demand for Airbnb accommodations from corporate customers. Corporate customers are looking for accommodations that go beyond the standard Airbnb offering. They are opting for properties with enhanced amenities such as concierge services or fitness facilities. For longer stays, this is particularly relevant.
From the supply side, Urbandoor is helping to increase this inventory. The company's global presence includes residential communities in more than 1,500 cities. It operates in more than 60 countries.
Second, Airbnb wants to go deeper. While hosts around the world are earning extra income through the platform, the $35 billion industry leader has hurdles to overcome in terms of collaboration with property owners.
Particularly for extended stays, Urbandoor has already forged links with these multi-family property owners. After this acquisition, Airbnb may be in a position to convince these same stakeholders to consider the benefits of designating accommodations for short-term occupancy, thereby potentially bypassing renters in certain scenarios.
Here’s what Urbandoor cofounder Erik Eccles had to say in a prepared statement:
We started Urbandoor because we wanted to connect traveling and relocating professionals with the right apartment every time, anywhere. Joining the Airbnb family will help us make good on our goals and expand our work with multifamily and corporate housing partners to bring even more great places to stay to Airbnb travelers.