September 14, 2015

Airbnb acquires travel assistance platform Vamo

This week, it was announced that Airbnb has acquired Vamo, a service that helps in the process of booking trips with stops in multiple cities.

Travel is one of the first industries the internet can take credit for disrupting. Gone are the days of travel agencies with professionals whose job it is to find, book and manage your vacation and business trip plans. Instead, consumers have taken the process into their own hands, seeking deals on discount sites and other search engines that effectively cut out the middleman. 

Airbnb has been a leader in lodging for travelers. Rather than paying for the service and amenities of hotels, consumers have listed and rented their own apartments for out-of-towners to enjoy. This week, it was announced that the company has acquired Vamo, a service that helps in the process of booking trips with stops in multiple cities. This adds another level of convenience to the Airbnb service offerings, which primarily focus on listing and discovering vacancies. 

However, the deal comes with disappointing news for current Vamo users: The product will be shut down as its capabilities are integrated into Airbnb's portfolio. In tech mergers and acquisitions, sometimes this step is necessary to leverage the development and expertise of a recently acquired company into its new corporate family. 

"I'm really happy with the product we built," said Vamo CEO Ari Steinberg. "What we realized as we learned more about travel, we were building something that was great for a specific use case, but there are so many people traveling in so many different capacities and styles of travel. I'm really excited there's now an opportunity to reach an even broader use case."

While Vamo fans will have to stay tuned for more travel assistance, the merger should boost the diversity of services Airbnb offers its users.