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Airbnb MGM Grand Signature Las Vegas
An Airbnb listing at the MGM Grand Signature in Las Vegas, Nevada. Courtesy of Airbnb

Home-sharing company Airbnb beefs up tools for business travel

Jul 20, 2015

Home-rental company Airbnb really wants businesses' money, so it's revamped its tools for booking business trip accommodations.

Airbnb's original corporate program launched last summer, and the company says that since then, more than 250 companies have signed up to provide accommodations through the service as an option, including Google, SoundCloud, and Twilio. On Monday, the company said it's rolling out a full dashboard of tools that will help company managers better keep track of their employees' bookings and billing.

Though Airbnb's been quite successful in the leisure travel side of the business -- it's reportedly valued at more than $25 billion and on track to do $900 million in revenue this year -- going after the business travel market could add another big stream of recurring revenue. Unlike individuals, companies book travel fairly frequently. Business travelers already seem to take well to these alternative services, with expense management company Certify reporting last week that ride-hailing service Uber has finally overtaken taxis as the more used form of transportation by its customers.

With that said, Airbnb will still face an uphill battle, especially with with executives or industries accustomed to putting up their employees in fancy hotels -- staying in an average Joe's home might sound very appealing to them. But as Bloomberg notes, Airbnb hopes it could become popular for extended-stay business travel or for offsite stays -- think renting out a cabin for a team retreat.

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