Another eventful day for the sharing economy and short-stay rentals, through private contacts. Once again, Airbnb is in the news, either directly, or thanks to businesses that have borrowed its key concept, whether it be the start-up Lyric or the Chinese giant Tujia.
Airbnb continues its partnerships and investments
The most important announcement comes from the startup Lyric: the business just confirmed that it raised 160 million dollars, in series B financing and loans, all managed by Airbnb. The giant invested around 75 million dollars in the startup according to some sources (the Information, in particular). This new capital injection brings the amount raised by Lyric to 185 million dollars. The list of investments and equity participations or simple partnerships implemented by Airbnb is getting longer: after Luckey Homes, Gaest(.)com, OYO, HotelTonight, now Lyric. These movements can only be in connection to Air bed and breakfast's listing on the stock exchange expected this year. Is there a desire to change the image, to make the move from startup to outright group? To get out of reach of regulations that are attacking its activity as is happening in New York and Amsterdam? To consolidate the business? These financial movements force us to make hypotheses. Its entry into Lyric makes sense: the business is a real operator; it recuperates apartments, brings its design, provides a service, and makes properties available through rental directly through its site or... Airbnb. It is thus external growth that remains linked to the platform and the original activity.
Actors in the Middle Empire are no exception
Another listing on the stock exchange is expected soon for Airbnb's Chinese competitor: Tujia. The business is looking for profitability in order to speed up the launch of its IPO. For now the Chinese rental market is shared by three actors: Tujia, backed by Ctrip, Xiaozhu, backed by Alibaba, and, of course, Airbnb, which, of course – it's China after all –, remains far behind the first two with control over just 10% of the market, which is nonetheless honorable for a western company established in the Middle Empire. Tujia just announced it had surpassed 1.4 million apartments listed in more than 300 Chinese cities, but also in Japan and Thailand.