“We can confirm the talent acquisition of the Batch/DailyBooth CEO, Brian Pokorny, and members of the design & engineering team,” an Airbnb spokesperson confirmed via email to VentureBeat. “They will come on board to support Airbnb’s mobile team, as mobile continues to be a priority for the company.”
Interestingly, both companies are Y Combinator alumni.
“When I first met the Batch team, it was clear they shared Airbnb’s design philosophy,” sad Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia via email.
“The exponential growth we’ve seen this year is directly attributable to our culture of integrating design and engineering talent. Building a world-class mobile team will allow us to realize bigger, bolder ideas about how we transcend online to offline, and back again. The design and engineering talent that the Batch team is bringing Airbnb will be invaluable to solving this challenge.”
That “exponential growth” bit refers to a huge benchmark the company announced last month: Airbnb users have spent a grand total of 10 million nights in other Airbnb users’ beds around the globe.
So, what do vanity pics have to do with vacation rentals? Well, like we said, this was a talent deal, so the technology is likely to be cast by the wayside. DailyBooth itself may have stopped active product development as far back as March 2011, when the team turned its attention to Batch, a new product for uploading multiple photos from a mobile phone.
Tellingly, none of the executive team (including new-ish CEO Pokorny) have used the DailyBooth product themselves for at least six or seven months. Neither the company blog nor its Twitter account have been updated since late 2011; although the site still has active users, it seems like deadware from where we sit.
As for Batch, the app hasn’t picked up any significant traction with users, and the team has been fairly silent about its progress.
Over its three-year lifetime, DailyBooth took a total of around $7 million, including a small seed round from Y Combinator in 2009, a $1 million angel round in 2010, and a $6 million Series A from Ignition and Sequoia in early 2011.
The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but we do know that the deal comes one year after Airbnb’s most recent cash infusion, a jaw-dropping $112 million Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz.
“I’ve had tremendous respect for Brian, Joe and Nate since we met in 2008,” Pokorny said in an official statement sent via email.
“In the startup world, it’s rare to find an opportunity to reach new, international audiences and work on something that changes the way people relate to each other. I’m excited to start executing some new strategies to impact Airbnb’s global growth.”
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.