Skift Take

Airbnb needs to go local in China and bringing on board investors with ample roots and experience in China is a savvy move.

Airbnb is closing in on a $1.5 billion fundraising round at a $24 billion valuation that would attract new investors, including China-based Hillhouse Capital, which is also leading an investment in Uber,, according to a published report.

The Financial Times reports that “Airbnb is on the brink” of agreeing to the $1.5 billion round, which would attract the participation of new investors General Atlantic, Hillhouse Capital and Tiger Global.

The latter two have wide experience in Asia, and that would blend well with Airbnb’s expansion ambitions in China and other parts of Asia.

Also participating in the round, according to the report, would be Airbnb newbies Baillie Gifford of the UK and Wellington, a U.S. mutual fund. Existing Airbnb investors Fidelity and T Rowe Price would also chip in.

The sharing economy landscape in China and other parts of Asia presents a slew of new challenges for Airbnb, which could tap into the resources an experiences of Tiger Global and Hillhouse Capital. For example, for Android users in China the Google Play store is not a factor as it is blocked by the Chinese firewall.

Airbnb would likely need to get its app into sanctioned Android app stores such as Tencent’s, for example.

News of Airbnb’s prospective new funding round has been percolating for weeks but the identities of the reported new investors show how the $1.5 billion infusion would jive with Airbnb’s global ambitions.

The round would bring Airbnb’s total funding to nearly $2.3 billion in seven rounds. The $1.5 billion round would be on par with a Facebook pre-IPO round of $1.5 billion, which is still the largest round for a tech startup, according to the Financial Times.

March 29, 2023
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Photo credit: Airbnb wants to go big in China and other parts of Asia, and a prospective $1.5 billion funding round would help the sharing economy site do so. Pictured is Airbnb's China site. 153889

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