Airbnb partners with WeWork in business-travel push

WeWork provides co-working spaces, and is set to compliment Airbnb's home-sharing operations.

It was only a matter of time before Airbnb made a serious push for the corporate travel market, but it was unclear just how it would until now. Earlier this year, Airbnb implemented a search feature to allow travelers to find bookable homes with work desks and high-speed internet, but now the home-sharing company is teaming up with co-working space WeWork to provide dedicated working spaces for business travelers on the road. The partnership is beginning with a pilot program, which has been rolled out across six cities.

The service is now available in New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; London; and Sydney. When booking an Airbnb stay, travelers will be able to reserve a WeWork office nearest to where they are staying. 

The partnership is a sharing economy double feature, with Airbnb making a play for business travel while WeWork, a company valued at roughly $20 billion, steps into the travel space. This is in addition to WeWork’s co-living location in Lower Manhattan, the first of its kind for the company, which serves as the company’s foray into hospitality.

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Much of the inner workings of this partnership and the future plans for both of these companies remain a mystery, but Airbnb said in a release earlier this year that it expects corporate travel on its site to quadruple this year. Companies like Airbnb, which is now valued at $31 billion, should be expected to take on more partnerships such as this to fill in the gaps of their offerings. This means personal, attentive service is one of the few remaining factors left to differentiate traditional hotels from home-sharing competitors.

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The planned acquisition comes on the heels of two other significant investments the hospitality group recently made in Hawaii.

Ridge, Kite and Cloud, developed with partner brand TreCe, each have unique characteristics to accommodate a wide range of environments.