Airbnb has grown dramatically over the last year, announcing last month that it topped 10 million total nights booked, with more than 200,000 active properties listed on its site. But one area where it expects huge growth is on mobile, which is fast becoming a key focus for the company. About 20 percent of Airbnb’s traffic comes from the iPhone, iPad, Android, and mobile web browsers, and it fully expects that traffic to skyrocket over the coming years, especially in international markets.
Airbnb recently redesigned its website and iPhone app, but it also recognizes the need to continue improving the mobile experience and get on new platforms. With the talent wars heating up, many companies are finding that it’s easier to acquire talent than to hire it, Airbnb among them. To that end, Airbnb has acquired DailyBooth, in what is essentially an acqui-hire of CEO Brian Pokorny and key design and engineering talent behind the company’s DailyBooth and Batch apps.
Dailybooth was incubated out of Y Combinator in 2009, as a way for users to share daily photos of themselves with each other on the web. The startup went on to raise $7 million since then, including a $6 million Series A round that was led by Ignition Partners last spring. Other prominent investors include Sequoia Capital, Betaworks, True Ventures, SV Angel, Kevin Rose, Caterina Fake, VaynerMedia, Lowercase Capital, Felicis Ventures, Joshua Schachter, and Chris Sacca.
As for Pokorny — he joined Dailybooth as CEO a little less than two years ago, leaving SV Angel to do so. In his time there, he focused on taking the company mobile and expanding its product line, including the launch of popular photo-sharing app Batch last November. As a fellow Y Combinator alum, he also knows Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia from way back, so it’s an opportunity for the friends to all work together.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acqui-hire will probably be seen as a big bummer to rabid Batch and Dailybooth users: While there are no plans as of yet to shut those services down, development on both will stop, as the team will be focused on building product for the new mothership. An Airbnb spokesperson told me that if plans change in the future, Dailybooth and Batch users will be given ample notice before those services are closed.
Founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more that 26,000 cities and 192 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community...
DailyBooth lets users follow their friends and update them in real-time through the use of pictures and status updates.
Batch allows you to share an album, or batch of photos directly from your phone. You will need a Facebook account to share your photos.
Brian Pokorny is a [Managing Partner of SV Angel] (http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/03/brian-pokorny-sv-angel/). Prior to this, he was at Airbnb, where he joined via an acquisition of DailyBooth/Batch. DailyBooth was a venture backed start-up that Brian led for 3 years as their CEO. Before this, Brian was a partner at SV Angel with David Lee and Ron Conway upon the launch of the firm. He focused on investments within the consumer Internet, specifically within social media, mobile, and real-time data companies....