Airbnb Working With Concur to Offer Rooms for Business Travelers

Jul 28, 2014 6:37 pm ET

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc., the short-term room rental service for travelers, is working with Concur Technologies Inc., a corporate travel and expense management service, to offer accommodations for business travelers.

Workers seeking rooms while on the road will now be able to book Airbnb rooms directly via Concur, San Francisco-based Airbnb said in a statement today. Almost 10 percent of Airbnb’s customers already travel for business, the company said.

Rooms listed on Airbnb, which can be cheaper than staying in a hotel, are the property of individuals seeking to rent out extra space or earn additional income. Airbnb is considered part of the “sharing economy,” one of a growing number of businesses that include ride-booking services such as Uber Technologies Inc. and crowd-funding providers such as LendingClub Corp. By teaming up, Airbnb and Concur are betting that they’ll be able to attract business travelers seeking an alternative to standard hotel accommodations.

“We’ve noticed that business travelers are increasingly taking advantage of a new generation of suppliers like Airbnb,” Tim MacDonald, executive vice president at Bellevue, Washington- based Concur, said in the statement. “Employees clearly want Airbnb in their managed travel program, and we think that trajectory will continue.”

Airbnb said it worked with Salesforce.com Inc. to design its offerings for business customers, and now has about 30 companies signed up as clients, including ride-sharing app Lyft Inc. and online event-planning service Eventbrite Inc.

“Working with Concur, we’ve now made it easier for people to make the most of their business travel,” Chip Conley, Airbnb’s head of global hospitality, said in the statement.