After seven years of helping travelers find rental properties in 190 countries around the world, Airbnb is now undergoing its own bout of wanderlust, aimed at its fastest growing market: China.
"In just the past year alone, outbound travel from Chinese guests through Airbnb has grown 700 percent ," the company said in an August blog post.
Like fellow Silicon Valley "unicorn" – a term for a billion-dollar tech startup -- Uber, Airbnb is soliciting the help of local investors in China to navigate the market and to assist in the search for a chief executive in the country.
Airbnb confirmed last month it is partnering with China Broadband Capital (CBC) and Sequoia China, both of which reportedly took part in a $1.5 billion fundraising round in June that put Airbnb's valuation at an estimated $25.5 billion. China's Hillhouse Capital Group was also among the lead investors taking part in that round, suggesting the new valuation hinges a great deal on Airbnb's success in the world's second largest economy.