Airbnb will be getting a leg up financially in the form of help from investors Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, who will funnel $1 billion into the vacation rental powerhouse, according to a press release.
The money will all be going toward new features for the company as it navigates how to capitalize on the changes that will be coming due to the coronavirus pandemic in the future.
The money will include $5 million going toward Airbnb’s Superhost Relief Fund, which will help with hosts trying to make ends meet for rent and mortgages on their own homes, as well as experience hosts trying to make money during the pandemic.
The release quotes Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky, saying that the “desire to connect and travel is an enduring human truth that’s only been reinforced during our time apart” as the virus forces everyone to self-isolate.
He said in the release that the innovations Airbnb is looking at will focus on a world where work can be more easily done remotely, and which could involve more stays closer to home rather than long-distance.
Firstly, Airbnb will do more to “invest in [its] hosts,” and try to help guests feel more welcome in the locations they visit, including with more transparency about local amenities and activities. The idea, the press release stated, will be to create a feeling of “belonging” for both parties and foster connection.
Secondly, the company plans to do more work for long-term stays, anticipating a future where people don’t have to be tethered in one place to work, with the rise of more remote and teleworking opportunities. Airbnb said people will soon be looking for more long-term ways to live somewhere else, from students needing housing during school and people traveling for work.
And finally, Airbnb plans to invest more in “experiences,” which could mean anything unique offered by hosts looking to indulge in their own passions. The company said that while the world will evolve and change, the basic human need to connect and share experiences will always remain intact.
Silver Lake CEO Egon Durban said the company would be “well suited” to prosper as the economy eventually steers toward recovery.