Soon You’ll Be Able to Rent Richard Branson’s Island on Airbnb
Airbnb is serious about becoming more than just a home-sharing company.
On Thursday, the startup announced that it has acquired high-end rental company Luxury Retreats. This is Airbnb’s largest acquisition yet, costing roughly $300 million in cash and stock, according to Bloomberg.
Airbnb reportedly beat out global travel company Expedia and multinational hotel group Accor SA to secure the deal. Luxury Retreats, which will remain based in Montreal and whose CEO Joe Poulin will report to Airbnb founder and CEO Brian Chesky, boasts more than 4,000 luxury rental properties in 100 locations worldwide. These listings, which include Richard Branson’s entire island, will be integrated into Airbnb’s platform.
Founded in 2008 as an air mattress bed and breakfast rental platform, Airbnb has grown into a sharing economy behemoth valued at $30 billion. The company has expanded its revenue channels, adding capabilities such as restaurant reservations, events, and meetups. Airbnb reportedly became profitable in the latter half of 2016, and projects annual revenues will reach up to $3.5 billion by 2020.
The Luxury Retreats deal is just one of many the company is expected to make this year. Flush with $3.1 billion in venture capital, Airbnb is also in talks to buy Tilt, a group payments startup. Bloomberg pegs the possible acquisition at $12 million in cash and stock.
This flurry of activity is good news for a company like Airbnb, but it could have broader implications. As Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher notes, the company’s bottom line growth could “make Airbnb the first company to prove that the so-called sharing economy can be turned into sustainable success.”