Travel marketplace Airbnb raises $112 million

Airbnb, a company that helps travelers find places to stay, has scored additional funding to help it grow in the U.S. and internationally.

Lance Whitney/CNET

Airbnb, an online marketplace where travelers can find and book places to stay around the world, has picked up $112 million in financing, a move designed to help it grow in the U.S. and abroad.

The company will use the $112 million in Series B financing from investors Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, and General Catalyst to enhance its U.S. online community and expand and hire more people internationally. This latest round of capital adds to the $7.2 million raised on behalf of Sequoia Capital and Greylock in November , bringing the total investment to $119.8 million.

Airbnb plays matchmaker to people looking for a place to stay and those who are renting out their own homes or apartments. Hosts with available amenities can advertise their places on the site for free. Travelers in need of a place to stay can search the site by location and date to find, learn about, and book accommodations.

Over the past year, Airbnb said it's seen the number of bookings through its site jump to 2 million from 1 million in just four months. The company's Airbnb Social Connections, a social network for travelers, has grown to 54 million connections since the feature kicked off in May.

Facing higher demand from people traveling to Brazil, Germany, France, the U.K., and other international spots, Airbnb wants to use its investment to turn it into a leader in the broader vacation rental market next year.

"Over the past three years, we've built a community marketplace for unique properties and brought it into the mainstream and into almost every country on the planet," Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, said in a statement. "Today is a watershed moment -- both for Airbnb as a company and for our community -- that will enable us to touch new markets and expand our vision to make the world's most interesting and inspiring places accessible to our users."

In addition to using Airbnb's Web site, travelers can tap into the company's iPhone app to find places to stay on their next vacation.

 

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