Airbnb – Acquires Y Combinator Start-up DailyBooth To Fuel Mobile Expansion: Strategy

Airbnb snaps up photoblogging site to fuel mobile expansion

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

US-based accommodation website Airbnb has “acqui-hired” Y Combinator start-up DailyBooth for an undisclosed sum, in what is believed to be Airbnb’s first acquisition.


Airbnb, founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, is a community marketplace for people to list and book unique accommodation options around the world.


Based in San Francisco, Airbnb has suffered several mishaps, but that hasn’t stopped it from growing its network to more than 200,000 active properties.


In July last year, Airbnb raised $112 million in a deal that valued the company’s equity at $1.3 billion. At the time, Airbnb indicated the money would be used to fund its global expansion.


It has now acquired photoblogging website DailyBooth in what appears to be a talent buyout.


DailyBooth, which describes itself as “one big conversation about your life, through pictures”, was founded in 2009 by Brian Pokorny, Jon Wheatley and Ryan Amos.


In essence, it is a photoblogging website that allows users to take a photo of themselves every day and add a caption, so that they might document and share their life with others.


The concept is similar to Twitter in that users can follow other users and receive real-time updates on what they are doing. The user base is geared towards teenagers.


DailyBooth came out of start-up incubator Y Combinator. Earlier this year, it closed a $6 million funding round led by Ignition Partners.


Existing backer Sequoia Capital, which participated in the company’s $1 million funding round a year and a half earlier, also participated.


DailyBooth’s other backers include tech incubator Betaworks, Digg co-founder Kevin Rose and Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake.


Now DailyBooth has been acquired by Airbnb in what is essentially an acqui-hire of Pokorny, according to TechCrunch.


Pokorny joined DailyBooth as chief executive just under two years ago, leaving his post at US angel firm SV Angel.


He has dedicated his time at DailyBooth to taking the company mobile and expanding its product line, including the launch of photo-sharing app Batch.


Airbnb is reportedly interested in the key design and engineering talent behind the company’s DailyBooth and Batch apps.


The acquisition therefore makes sense, as Airbnb has already indicated it expects huge growth on its mobile platform, which is fast becoming a key focus for the company.


It’s estimated about a fifth of Airbnb’s traffic comes from the iPhone, iPad, Android and mobile web browsers.


However, this figure is expected to soar in coming years, particularly in international markets.

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