Airbnb has boughta Barcelona-based travel startup it was advising and partnering with:Trip4realoffers a marketplace of experiences for tourists to browse and bookahead of timeto lend their trip a little local color/flavor (via tapastastings, paella cooking classes,barrio tours and so on).

There are obvious synergies with the sharing economy giant which pitches its platform as a way to escape the usual tourist traps by staying in a realhome rather than a clinical hotel (albeit, its platform also plays host to plenty of professional landlords, so the reality is rather less clear-cut).

Airbnb has also startedexpanding into travel services, outingan Airbnb Trips applast month, and testing a City Hosts guided experiences program this summer. So its not hard to see how trip4reals platform feeds into its plans. Nor why Airbnb picked this startup over others in the space, given it was already partneringwith the web-based platform(and the two were viewed by rivals as aligned, not least visually).

Other startups playing in what remains a very packed and difficult spaceinclude well-fundedplatforms like Berlin-basedGetYourGuide(which acquired deadpooled rival Gidsy).Theres also Vayable, GuideMeRight, Peek,Musement, LovliLocalsand MeetJune, to name a few.Anotherearly mover,Viator, was acquired by TripAdvisorback in 2014. Yet another, AnyRoad, pivoted from indie travel experiences to sellinga b2b experience management platform for providers of tours, classes andprivate events.

Airbnb confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch, emailingthe following statement:We are delighted to welcome Trip4Real to the Airbnb family. [Founder] Gloria Molins and her team share our vision of a different kind of travel experience that is local and authentic. Their experience and expertise is a great complement to our ongoing efforts to transform the way that people travel.

Trip4real was founded back in 2012, and hadraised $3.1 million in four rounds to date from investors including Kibo Ventures and Caixa Capital Risc, according to CrunchBase.

The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed, although were hearing itwas very low with one source putting itat between $5M and $10M.

The dealwasreported earlier by local newspaperLa Vanguardia, which reports trip4realhaving amassed some 40,000 users at the point of acquisition, andoffering around 10,000 activities.

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