Split the bill: Airbnb rumoured to be acquiring Tilt
Ealrier this month, The Information reported that Airbnb is in talks to acquire social payments start-up Tilt, a move that would allow the users of the home share service to split the cost of their trips.
According to the report, speculative prices for the Venmo competitor come nowhere near the $400 million valuation given in 2015, following the company successfully raising just over $62 million from four rounds of funding.
Airbnb’s recent expansion into experience with Airbnb Trips has taken the company beyond being an accommodation booking service into more of a fully-fledged travel agency, providing tours, localised activities and unique experiences in 12 cities across the globe.
At around the same time the company launched Trips, Airbnb revealed it had partnered with AirPlus International, a business travel management firm to provide a business travel solution that includes booking, payment, billing and expenses management. Airbnb’s move into offering users an integrated platform for payments goes a long way in validating the Tilt acquisition rumours.
From Tilt’s perspective, an acquisition could be the welcome change it needs following a challenging period. The start-up faces aggressive competition in the form of GoFundMe, which currently dominates the crowdfunding sector and secured a valuation of $600 million following a new financing round last June. Having been overshadowed in the crowdfunding sphere and moving to specialise on social payments since its launch in 2012, an acquisition by Airbnb, a business which is in the process of rapid expansion, could be just the ticket for Tilt.
Neither party has commented on the rumours, but last December Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky hinted that Tilt was on the company’s radar during a Twitter exchange. Following a user suggesting that Airbnb should provide a group pay option with Tilt, Chesky cryptically responded, “ask and you shall…”. We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on any developments so keep watching our blog for further updates.
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