You can check into some unusual locations and maybe get your accommodation on the cheap if you choose Airbnb over a standard hotel or hostel, but on the other hand you’re putting a lot of trust in the owner of the property. Hosts also have to trust guests to leave everything as they found it.
With that in mind Airbnb is planning to make it harder for both hosts and guests to get scammed – Bloomberg reports the company is buying the startup Trooly, which specializes on running background checks through social media and other sources.
In other words, it looks like you’ll be able to vet other Airbnb users more easily in the future, once the Trooly technology gets integrated into the main service. Trooly has actually been partnering with Airbnb for a couple of years.
Enjoy the trip
Among the problems Airbnb has come up against in its nine years of existence are guests trying to circumvent the service fee by arranging bookings outside of Airbnb, and fraudulent listings being created on the site.
According to people “familiar with the situation”, Airbnb is getting Trooly’s intellectual property and its engineering team, though the purchase price and other specifics of the deal haven’t been revealed. The companies will merge in the “coming weeks”.
There are now more than 3 million listings on Airbnb, but the company has struggled, Uber-style, to get the necessary regulatory approval and support in some parts of the world. The service recently expanded into offering travel experiences as well as accommodation, so you can get a personalized tour with your bed and breakfast.