Airbnb has acquired corporate client-facing extended stay company Urbandoor, in a bid to expand into that market, according to a report by TechCrunch.
Urbandoor was started in 2015, and it mostly focuses on corporate travelers and work relocation-related activities. However, Urbandoor does business directly with real estate companies, instead of renters, so it is able to get places with amenities that corporate clients would want, like gyms and doormen.
Another company that follows this approach is Greystar, which also works with building owners on creating extended stay experiences for workers.
Airbnb acquired the company because it wants to continue to expand its Airbnb for Work brand, which has been successful so far. The “for work” side of the business was initially started as Airbnb for Business, and it makes up about 15 percent of all of the company’s bookings.
It’s grown threefold from 2015 to 2016, and the same amount for the next two years. The company said that about 500,000 entities use it to plan corporate travel.
While the demand for extended stay business-related bookings are healthy, the supply issue has been difficult for Airbnb. Corporate clients don’t want to just stay in someone’s house or apartment, they want amenities. The Urbandoor acquisition helps with this prospect, as it has communities in upwards of 1,500 cities in 60 countries around the world.
“We started Urbandoor because we wanted to connect traveling and relocating professionals with the right apartment every time, anywhere,” Urbandoor Co-Founder Erik Eccles said. “Joining the Airbnb family will help us make good on our goals and expand our work with multifamily and corporate housing partners to bring even more great places to stay to Airbnb travelers.”
Airbnb also wants to improve its relationships with real estate companies and building owners in terms of extended stays. And if it does that, it could also potentially set aside locations for short term stays as well, which would allow it to supersede dealing with renters in some cases.