Fast-Growing Online Rental Service Is Trying Not to Move Too Quickly Abroad
Airbnb Inc. is trying to avoid becoming another cautionary tale in international expansion.
Airbnb, which is run by CEO Brian Chesky, will centralize certain services in a yet-to-be named European hub.
One of technology’s hottest startups, with a valuation of $2.5 billion, the online-accommodation rental service has recently slowed down hiring in its international operation, according to several people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Airbnb, which has about 600 employees world-wide, has also shifted its strategy abroad. The company is assigning scores of employees to new roles and moving to centralize certain services in a yet-to-be announced European hub, these people added.
As a result, several employees—less than a dozen—have decided to leave the company, the company said. The creation of the hub, which may be set up in Dublin, one person said, will require relocation for some employees. Meanwhile, the changes in responsibilities will also require additional training.
A company spokeswoman confirmed the changes to its international strategy and added that it hasn’t made any layoffs in connection with these changes. She declined to comment on plans for a new European hub.
Pressing on the international brakes might seem counter intuitive for the five-year-old San Francisco based startup—a business that is now more global than domestic. But Airbnb and its chief executive, Brian Chesky, is trying to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen other highflying tech companies, like Groupon Inc., GRPN -1.54% which grew hyper-fast abroad early on but faced major difficulties after going public.
Via The WSJ