Airbnb acquired an AI startup for just under $200 million. Airbnb recently bought a company called Gameplanner.AI for almost $200 million. Gameplanner.AI was in “stealth mode” since it started in 2020, meaning it was working secretly. Startups do this to keep their ideas safe or avoid getting sidetracked. Airbnb says that Gameplanner.AI will help speed up some of their AI projects.
The person who helped start Gameplanner.AI, Adam Cheyer, was also one of the people behind Siri. Siri was later bought by Apple, and Cheyer worked with Steve Jobs. After that, Cheyer co-founded Viv Labs, which played a big role in creating Samsung’s voice assistant.
It’s not immediately clear what GamePlanner does. A LinkedIn search only turns up two associates: Gabe Greenbaum, a general partner at B Capital who sits on GamePlanner’s board of directors, and Joseph Huang, head of design at GamePlanner. GamePlanner hasn’t had a web presence for some time; the Internet Archive’s earliest cache of the website (from December 2021) yields a blank page.
Airbnb Eyes Generative AI Transformation
Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, mentioned that he believes generative AI will bring big changes to Airbnb. He envisions using it like a “travel concierge” that learns from users over time, making their travel experiences better. For instance, it could help match users with the most suitable rooms or homes.
This acquisition is Airbnb’s first since 2019, and it might make people on Wall Street curious about any shifts in Chesky’s strategy for mergers and acquisitions. This could potentially make Airbnb more appealing for acquisition. As of the end of September, the company is profitable based on GAAP standards and has $11 billion in cash and liquid assets.
This news from Airbnb comes after reports that Google is in talks to invest hundreds of millions in another AI startup called Character.AI. This startup, valued at $1 billion, allows people to create virtual characters or chat with AI versions of celebrities like Elon Musk or Albert Einstein.
Airbnb acquired Gameplanner.AI for nearly $200 million, aiming to boost its AI initiatives. The startup, shrouded in secrecy since 2020, is expected to accelerate Airbnb’s AI projects. Co-founded by Adam Cheyer, a Siri pioneer, Gameplanner.AI’s role in the AI landscape remains unclear.