Airbnb, the San Francisco-based online hospitality service reportedly worth US$30bn, has moved further into the MICE space with the acquisition of Denmark’s Gaest venue booking platform.
The Aarhus start-up offers venue booking options by the hour or daily increments.
Gaest was founded in 2015 by Anders Boelskifte Mogensen (CEO), Chris Kjær Sørensen, Christian Schwarz Lausten and Jonas Grau Sigtenbjerggaard.
The Gaest service has listings for some 3,000 venues from hotels to co-working spaces and other rooms will remain operational on its own platform initially at least, although Airbnb has not said whether it will keep the Gaest brand name.
“We’re thrilled to join one of the world’s most innovative companies and become an integral part of their mission to make it easier for professionals to feel a sense of belonging at work,” said Mogensen. “Our dream from day one has been to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to list, discover, and book unique spaces that spark creativity, motivate interaction and encourage knowledge sharing.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is indicative that Airbnb is expanding into services for the business market.
The company claims 700,000 companies have signed up to its Airbnb for Work programme as the trend towards ‘consumerisation’ in the world of business travel continues apace.
“We imagine a world where anyone can share their space for professional events and, in the longer term, for celebrations,” said David Holyoke, Global Head of Airbnb for Work. “Bringing in a leadership team with strong domain knowledge allows us to accelerate our work in this area, and more importantly Gaest.com and Airbnb share a vision of helping every space owner become entrepreneurs through sharing their spaces with those who need it.”
Last April, Airbnb also launched a tool for meeting planners and group travellers to show Airbnb properties near an event and also a new Airbnb for Events brand.