Since the launch in 2008, Airbnb has successfully provided travellers with places to rent and crash. They plan on taking their service to the next level by catering to almost every need of a traveller. They are expanding to offer “Flights and Services” among others.
Bloomberg reported that Airbnb wants to expand by acquiring or buying license rights of existing booking site, most likely Sabre or Amadeus IT Group. The expansion is expected to be done before Airbnb’s IPO. Also, they plan on using proven working models to acquire new revenue streams. Other bookings sites such as Kayak, Expedia etc. provide all the services from booking flights to car rentals. All of them offer bundle deals and promotional offers where you book all the necessary services required in one payment. Airbnb could benefit from bundling and become travel booking hub.
Last month, they launched “experiences” which allows you to book cooking classes, music sessions, surfing lessons etc. This is a part of Airbnb’s revised mission statement that becomes clear from their homepage where they want you to browse “Homes, experiences and places – all in one app.” Furthermore, Airbnb takes a larger cut of these offerings compared to the 6-12 percent on regular bookings.
The hosts that know the local attractions and specialties provide the “experiences” and make the travellers’ trip more authentic. Alternative listings can be easily carried out as they do not displace anyone or disturb the dynamic of the local real estate market.
The regulatory battles have caused Airbnb to expand into new horizons of the market. It is better to explore other options a policy ruling drives them out of the market. They are expected to file an IPO within the next 18 months