Airbnb revealed today that it bought the social payment startup Tilt in what reports say to be an acquihire to expand Airbnb's travel services for customers further. The company targets to keep Tilt's app functional and retain most of the employees in the acquisition.
The travel giant purchased Tilt's assets for $10m to $20m. But if pooled together with the employment retention package, Airbnb shelved off more than $60m - a little breakeven from Tilt's original invested capital.
Founder and CEO of Tilt James Beshara will be joining Airbnb--so do the rest of the employees with expertise in group payments. However, most of the remote team was laid off.
Tilt was launched in 2012 as a peer-to-peer payment transfer that caters primarily to group finances. Its features sometimes resemble that of PayPal's Venmo, Square Cash and crowdsourcing sites like GoFundMe. Even famed Silicon Valley leaders like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian expected Tilt to be the next mobile commerce giant.
According to TechCrunch, Airbnb's VP of product, Joe Zadeh, said "Airbnb and Tilt have a common vision for building community-oriented products that make it easy to bring people together. Tilt's experience and expertise complement our ongoing efforts to transform the way people travel."
Zadeh further stated that by collaborating with Tilts, Airbnb could foresee how it would enhance their new feature, Trips, a platform program that lets travelers book activities in the local community where they are going to stay. The acquisition has now let the company step up their services that are far beyond renting rooms.
Recently, Airbnb has been buying properties and startups such as Luxury Retreats, bed and breakfast luxury treat that focuses on high-end homes. Last year, the company purchased ChangeCoin and Trip4real while also eyeing to have the app for restaurant reservations, called Resy.
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