Some of the world’s biggest hotel chains are moving in on a new wave of startups that allow people to share their homes with strangers in exchange for a fee.
Accor, the largest hotel group in Europe, acquired luxury home-sharing platform Onefinestay this week in a deal worth at least £117 million.
US hotel giant Hyatt also held a stake in Onefinestay before it was acquired by Accor. One Business Insider source familiar with the industry questioned why Hyatt didn’t end up buying the London startup itself.
Accor’s acquisition of Onefinestay was the second significant deal it’s done in the home-sharing market this year. In February, the French hotel group — whose brands include Sofitel, Mercure, and Novotel — acquired a 30% stake in another home-sharing startup called Oasis in the US.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is another large US hotel group that is reportedly interested in home-sharing companies.
The Financial Times reported that Wyndham has invested £7.5 million into Love Home Swap — a platform that allows people to exchange high-end homes with other Love Home Swap members in exchange for an annual fee.
All this mounts up to make home-sharing one of the most popular spaces within the so-called “sharing economy,” which comprises of companies that allow people to let out their properties and services via the internet.
“It’s hotting up,” said the CEO of one home-sharing company. “There will be more deals [between hotel chains and home-sharing companies].”
A number of hotel chains may regret not investing in Airbnb, the San Francisco-headquartered home-sharing platform now worth over $24 billion (£17 billion).