A Tilt acquisition would certainly make sense for Airbnb, which could integrate the tech into its own platform to make it easier for users to split the cost of vacations.
Payment service Tilt might be finding a new home in home purveyor Airbnb. According to a new report from The Information, the vacation rental company is in talks to acquire Tilt, the mobile payment app with a specialty that seems right up Airbnb’s alley — splitting the cost of trips.
According to The Information’s sources, the Venmo competitor would be priced somewhere between $10 million and $20 million, significantly less than the amount of capital the company has raised ($62 million) and a recent reported valuation of $400 million.
Of course, nothing’s set in stone yet, so many of these details (if they prove to be true) could still change. As for Tilt’s employees, it seems that many of them would be acqui-hired, which is to say, that they would be folded into Airbnb’s existing employee base, as is often the case when one company buys another. That said, the app itself will likely get shut down — its technology, would certainly integrate well into Airbnb’s platform.
In fact, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky has already suggested that such an integration could be possible. Last December, one Twitter user suggested a “group pay option with Tilt,” to which Chesky responded, “ask and you shall …” Now, it seems we have a better understanding of that seemingly opaque answer.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) December 26, 2016
Thus far, Airbnb has declined to comment on the reported acquisition. It would, however, fall in line with other changes the platform has made to expand beyond short-term (and sometimes, longer-term) rentals. Last year, the company unveiled Airbnb Trips, which could turn the company into a full-fledged travel agency. In essence, it would offer users a whole host of experiences beyond their lodgings, whether they’re looking for a new activity, a posh restaurant, or a relaxing spa.
So get excited, vacationers. Your whole Airbnb experience may be getting an upgrade.