Airbnb has further expanded into the corporate world by acquiring online meeting space marketplace Gaest.
Founded in 2015 in Denmark, Gaest now operates across six continents. The platform allows users to book meeting spaces for short-term rentals in hours or days, with venues available for meetings, interviews, workshops and team-building events.
Airbnb says the acquisition will allow hosts to list their spaces and provide optional add-ons and other services, while guests can book these listings for corporate events.
Gaest will continue to operate as its own platform for the foreseeable future, according to Airbnb. The team will report into the firm’s Homes business unit, headed up by president of homes Greg Greeley.
The news comes after Airbnb for Work announced a new ‘strategic direction’ last year following growth in business travel use of the site. The platform added a number of new features, including team-building activities through Airbnb Experiences and the ability to book spaces listed on the site for corporate functions. The Gaest acquisition will allow the company to take the latter addition further.
Anders Mogensen, co-founder and CEO of Gaest, commented: “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. 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.”
David Holyoke, global head of Airbnb for Work, said: “We imagine a world where anyone can share their space for professional events and, in the longer term, for celebrations. 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.”
Gaest was named ‘One to Watch’ on the 2018 BBT Hotlist.