Airbnb partners with China Broadband, Sequoia to expand in China

Airbnb is partnering with investment firms China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China to expand into the Chinese market.
Airbnb is partnering with investment firms China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China to expand into the Chinese market. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BENGALURU, INDIA (REUTERS) - Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc said on Tuesday it was partnering with investment firms China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China to expand into the Chinese market and find a chief executive for its operations in the country.

The company, which was recently reported to have completed a US$1.5 billion (S$2.1 billion) private funding round, said in a blog post it was also working with a larger group of investors, including Horizon Ventures, GGV Capital and China-based Hillhouse Capital.

Airbnb, which matches people wishing to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests, has grown quickly and is valued at more than US$20 billion.

Airbnb said the number of outbound Chinese travelers using its service grew 700 per cent in the past year. China Broadband and Sequoia China will help it customize technology for the Chinese market and establish a "localized presence" in the country, it added.

Airbnb last month hired Blackstone Group's chief financial officer Laurence Tosi as its finance head.