Home-renting company Airbnb has bought HotelTonight, an app for finding hotel rooms at a discount, as it wades deeper into the hotel-booking business to attract a wider variety of travelers ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering.
The acquisition, which Airbnb announced on Thursday, expands the company’s inventory by adding a number of listings from hotels – long viewed as the arch enemy of Airbnb – and is part of a strategy to win over travelers who have shied away from the risks and quirks of renting a stranger’s home.
HotelTonight has raised more than $115 million in funding and was last valued at $463 million in a funding around in 2017.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky called the acquisition “a big part of building an end-to-end travel platform.” Airbnb has steadily moved into new businesses outside of homes, whose growth is threatened by regulations that cap short-term rentals.
HotelTonight’s listings include large hotel chains such as Sheraton and Hyatt that Airbnb has said will not have a place on its site.
Over time, Airbnb will add select boutique HotelTonight rooms, but will not change its standards for hotel listings.