AirBnB invests in "experiences" company Atlas Obscura

Airbnb And Corporate (Ad)venturing

Like many of the billion-dollar private companies barreling toward IPOs (or recently out the gate), Airbnb has made a number of investments into startups which align with its long-term strategy. It’s a case of the venture-backed becoming the venture backer.

Atlas Obscura’s might be the most recent investment deal struck by Airbnb, but it’s not the largest.

I’d much rather have Air invest in providing better host support, by actually training their Customer Disservice airheads and actually providing them with the information and tools to do their jobs. It’s crazy when hosts have to actually read Air’s rules to the supposed support person.

But noooo, they have to waste money investing in startup “experience” instead of focusing on their main mission and fixing the problems with their (&%^&*&)0 software!


Unfortunately, they don’t think the things YOU would rather they do with their investment capital will make them more profitable.

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I only know Atlas Obscura from its website - and that is excellent. I think that they, and Airbnb, are both very conscious of the fact that travellers today want experiences that are different. Therefore, they seem to be a good match.

When I was a kid, a holiday meant going to some Costa del Something and spend the duration flat out in the sun. Then when I got older, it was the same but with alcohol added in the evenings. (Et cetera :wink: )

Increasingly people want something different.

By the way, am I right in thinking that Atlas Obscura isn’t a startup but has been going for years?


Not this traveler. After years of having to accommodate other family members preferences (Disney, camping, etc.) on vacation, I’d be thrilled to just be able to plop down on a beach with an unending supply of mojitos.


I always thought AO was a blog. Do they sell things or services too?

yeah, me too. And a good book, hammock, shade, good spa with facials, good food and yoga.

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I love Atlas Obscura, so many unique little sights detailed on there that I would never have heard about. I even came across a few listings in the area I grew up in that confirmed a bunch of “they say” type of stories we were told as kids. Pretty cool.

Lets hope Airbnb doesn’t change for the (much) worse when the IPO drops and thereafter.

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I know that they do experiences (like the Airbnb experiences, I think) and also have trips to some pretty weird and wonderful places. I think they used to sell books too but I’m not sure if they still do.

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@jaquo They do. There’s a new edition coming out soon. I’m a big fan.

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This maybe the scariest story I remember being told as a kid… and that tunnel is DARK at night man.

That’s as far as I am reading. :scream:

Now imagine being told this story as a kid and then driven out there on Halloween !! PTSD for sure.