Dynamic Duo: Airbnb, WeWork Team Up To Tackle Business Travel
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The partnership between the two companies will allow business travelers booking rooms through Airbnb to secure a spot at a nearby WeWork office during their stay. It is unclear whether guests will pay a reduced price for the WeWork space or get the office for free, as both companies declined to provide further details, Bloomberg reports.
Airbnb is slated to launch the new program Thursday in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, London and Sydney. Through the partnership, corporate travelers will be able to access an array of amenities typically found in hotels at WeWork, such as a work desk, meeting space, printers and WiFi.
The partnership could prove profitable for both companies during a time when each is pushing to grow and diversify its offerings. WeWork, which recently received a $4B capital injection from Japanese telecom giant SoftBank as it moves to expand into Asia, is valued at $20B. The company is also making moves in its co-living division, announcing plans to build a third WeLive location from the ground up on the West Coast. WeLive's first location in New York City and its second in Arlington, Virginia, have a combined 400 units.
While Airbnb, now worth $31B, continues to jump over regulatory hurdles as it expands its home-sharing business across the globe, the company is expanding its services beyond short-term rentals. In November it launched Airbnb Trips, a service that connects travelers with experiences beyond the typical tourist spots and excursions in communities around the globe. The company also rolled out a search tool called “Business Travel Ready” in April in hopes of connecting business travelers with rentals that include a desk and high-speed internet, according to Bloomberg.
Both WeWork and Airbnb are major industry disruptors. WeWork completely revolutionized the traditional office model, and Airbnb continues to steal market share from hotels with its cheaper, more intimate short-term rentals.