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Major Hotels Are Teaming Up With the Enemy, Investing Millions in AirBNB Rivals

The AirBNB concept has launched a number of rival sites, often with substantial backing from major corporations, the latest of which include a number of hotel chains.

AirBNB is no longer the only home-sharing option on the block. The site, soon to be worth $24 billion, has inspired several startup home-sharing companies with large financial backers of their own, some of which have gained support from major hotel companies.

Onefinestay, for example, is based in London and rents out private luxury lodging for users. The site has reportedly gained $80 million in funding from Hyatt and other hotels.

Funding from what would appear to be a competitor operation could be a case of “keeping enemies close” on Hyatt’s part, but also could prove to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Hyatt will have a chance to stay connected to its most loyal guests by being a part of the booking process for Onefinestay, and Onefinestay will benefit from a larger customer base, hospitality industry guidance and possibly more leads on potential hosts.

Hyatt is not the only hotel company to invest in sites that appear to be poaching customers from their own properties. Wyndham Hotels supports Love Home Swap to the tune of a $12 million investment, and according to Financial Times, Accor had a chance to invest in AirBNB but chose not to.

Currently, according to Greg March, Onefinestay’s CEO and co-founder, the site is not competing with AirBNB because the target markets are different. That may be the case for now but, as TechCrunch points out, AirBNB is already making strides to become more luxury-focused, by including cleaning services for hosts and constantly improving the uniqueness of the site’s listings.

[Photo: Hyatt]

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