Airbnb, the site best known for letting travelers book stays in other people’s homes, now wants to give businesses the same opportunity.
The company just launched Business Travel on Airbnb, a new service that makes it easier for businesses to book private home rentals when their employees hit the road. Many small-business owners already use Airbnb to find comfier—and possibly more affordable—accommodations when they travel. But the new program takes it a step further: Airbnb is partnering with corporate travel and expensing giant Concur to make its rental listings available through the large travel booking portal TripLink.
To make it more business-traveler friendly, Airbnb will filter out oddball rentals (treehouse stay for your next business conference?) and shared-room options accommodations from its search listings, according to Engadget. By this fall, Airbnb will be able to automatically create an expense report for a stay in Concur—making it even more convenient for business road warriors.
In a blog post, the company says the new offering will make business travel more cozy and convenient:
Use Airbnb to find a space with convenient proximity to meetings, a space that makes after-work feel like vacation, a gourmet kitchen for cooking with colleagues, comfortable meeting spaces for offsites, easy access to running trails or beaches, larger homes for family companions or group getaways, or a homier neighborhood feel for extended stays or relocations.
Airbnb isn’t the only travel-related crowdsourcing app making inroads into the business market. Uber, best known for its ride-hailing service, coincidentally also just announced a partnership with Concur. Called Uber for Business, the new service allows for automatic company expensing of rides booked through Uber.
The Uber for Business app will have a dashboard that business owners can use to invite their employees into a shared account. Writes TechCrunch columnist Ryan Lawler: “The new product is basically an acknowledgment that many consumers have been using Uber for both personal and business use cases, but their employers didn’t have a good way to manage those expenses.”
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