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Airbnb certainly didn't acquire Trip4real for its user base, which is small, but the move highlights Airbnb's intent to enhance the experiences of guests by giving them opportunity to hook up with local guides especially as hosts get more corporate. In addition, Barcelona authorities have taken a tough stance against Airbnb and having local ties through acquisition could engender a degree of goodwill.

As Airbnb seeks to get deeper into tours and activities for guests, it acquired a 15-employee Barcelona-based startup, Trip4real.

La VanGuardia and other publications report that Airbnb agreed to acquire the peer-to-peer tours and activities startup, which was already an Airbnb partner; its tour offerings had been integrated into Airbnb when guests book rooms in Barcelona.

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The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but El Confidencial pegs the acquisition price as between $5.6 million (euro 5 million) and $11.12 million (euro 10 million).

Airbnb and Trip4real confirmed the deal.

‘We are delighted to welcome Trip4Real to the Airbnb family,” Airbnb stated. “Gloria Molins and her team share our vision of a different kind of travel experience that is local and authentic. Their experience and expertise is a great complement to our ongoing efforts to transform the way that people travel.”

A Trip4real spokesperson said: “Yes, Trip4real has been acquired by Airbnb. But don’t worry nothing will change in short term.”

The deal, according to a source, took about a year to come to fruition and was a cash deal. Airbnb has faced regulatory problems in Barcelona, and the ties with a local startup, Trip4real, could engender a degree of goodwill for U.S.-headquartered Airbnb.

Founded in 2012 by Gloria Molins, Trip4real had raised $3.1 million in funding from a investors, including Caixa Capital Risc and Kibo Ventures, according to Crunchbase.

Trip4real connects travelers with tour guides in seven European cities and takes a commission when travelers book tours.

The Trip4real employees will join Airbnb in the coming weeks, La VanGuardia reports.


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Tags: airbnb, mergers and acquisitions, tours and activities

Photo credit: Trip4real, which has reportedly been acquired by Airbnb, connects travelers with guides in Barcelona (shown above) and a half-dozen other European cities. Trip4real

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