Airbnb to expand to Brazil after raising US$112mn in funds

Monday, July 25, 2011

San Francisco-based company Airbnb, a startup that allows travelers to rent rooms in private homes all over the world, has raised more than US$112mn in funding and plans to expand to Brazil, The Financial Times reported.

According to the report, the three-year-old startup is now valued at US$1.3bn after the new funding. Venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Digital Sky Technologies and General Catalyst participated in the financing.

The company said it would focus the resources on expanding into global markets, mainly Europe and Brazil. It is looking to open new offices worldwide, make acquisitions and hire employees familiar with local markets.

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"We need to be all over the world.... We have users in almost every nation in the world," said company CEO and cofounder Brian Chesky. "To have a deep understanding of every country is not possible. You have to hire citizens of the world, people in all different markets."

About 55% of the company's revenues came from international travel, Chesky said.

The short-term private rental service is one of several new peer-to-peer sites that aim to connect buyers with sellers.

Many analysts believe that readily available investment capital for several technology startups, as well as their high market valuations, may lead to another internet bubble.