In a strategic move to further embrace the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI), Airbnb announced on Tuesday the acquisition of GamePlanner.AI, a 12-person startup, for an undisclosed sum. The deal, reportedly valued at just under $200 million according to Reuters, reflects Airbnb’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological innovation amid the rapid adoption of AI in the tech industry.
GamePlanner.AI, co-founded by Adam Cheyer, a notable figure who was also among the founders of Apple’s voice assistant Siri, brings a wealth of expertise in AI technology to Airbnb. The startup’s 12-person team will join Airbnb’s existing cadre of AI specialists, contributing to the development and enhancement of the company’s AI technologies. Airbnb’s current AI toolkit includes large language models, computer vision models, and machine learning algorithms.
In a statement, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky expressed his enthusiasm for the acquisition, stating, “AI will rapidly alter our world more than any other technology in our lifetime.” The move signifies Airbnb’s recognition of the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of the hospitality and travel industry.
Despite the undisclosed sum, reports suggest that the deal’s valuation at nearly $200 million underscores the significance of the acquisition for Airbnb. The company, which revolutionized the travel and accommodation sector with its peer-to-peer platform, is evidently investing heavily in AI to improve user experiences and stay competitive in an evolving market.
Airbnb’s acquisition comes at a time when other major players in the travel industry, such as Booking.com and Expedia, are also integrating AI into their platforms. These companies are leveraging AI to enhance customer-booking experiences, offering more personalized itineraries, and providing tailored suggestions to meet the evolving needs and preferences of modern travelers.
As the influence of AI continues to grow across industries, Airbnb’s move to bolster its AI capabilities through the acquisition of GamePlanner.AI positions the company to stay at the forefront of innovation in the competitive landscape of online travel services.