Skift Take

Despite the large amount of funding Wimdu received in 2011, it was never able to scale its operation on a global basis like Airbnb. The variety of laws restricting the ability of Europeans to list their homes on a roomsharing platform likely hastened its demise.

Wimdu and 9flats, two roomsharing platforms founded in Europe in 2011, are merging following 9flats’ acquisition of its competitor for an undisclosed amount.

The staff of the two companies will merge in order to consolidate their inventory and better compete against roomsharing giant Airbnb. The two brands will now offer about 500,000 combined global listings in 140 countries, which still pales in comparison to Airbnb’s two million listings.

As first reported by Wiwo, both brands will continue to operate and be run by 9flats CEO Roman Bach. Wimdu has received $90 million in funding, from Rocket Internet and AB Kinnevik, while 9flats has received around $10 million from a variety of investors.

Upon its launch, Wimdu was believed to be a potential serious competitor to Airbnb’s European growth aspirations, seeing hockey-stick growth in the year after its launch. In fact, it was one of the most heavily-funded travel startups in the world at the time. The company has recently struggled and laid off 60 workers earlier this year, according to reports.

Weak transaction volume and legislative concerns across Europe seem to have led to its stagnation and acquisition by 9flats, which recently relocated its operation from Berlin to Singapore after facing backlash from Berlin’s restrictive laws regulating the sharing economy.

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Tags: airbnb, wimdu

Photo credit: Upon its launch in 2011, Wimdu was believed to be a bonafide competitor to Airbnb and received $90 million in funding. Its current homepage is pictured here. Wimdu

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