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Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday. The agreement, which also included Dragoneer Investment Group, mutual fund T. Rowe Price Group and Sequoia Capital among its investors, valued the startup at $10 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. That figure would make the website, that lets individuals rent out their homes to travelers, one of the most valuable websites in the world, ahead of publicly-traded hotel chains Wyndham Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

San Francisco supervisor to propose legalizing short-term rentals on sites such as Airbnb

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco lawmakers are considering making it legal for city residents to rent out their homes on sites such as Airbnb, but only if they have liability insurance and meet other requirements, a newspaper reported. Supervisor David Chiu introduced legislation Tuesday that seeks to lift a ban on short-term housing rentals, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1qXNLPc ). Other cities, including New York, have similar prohibitions.

Online home rental service Airbnb to pay San Francisco's 14 per cent hotel tax

SAN FRANCISCO - Online home rental service Airbnb has agreed to pay San Francisco's 14 per cent hotel tax, addressing at least one concern of critics who say the company is flouting regulations. Under the plan, Airbnb would collect taxes directly from guests as an extra charge on their bill — the same way hotels do, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday (http://bit.ly/PdJPhD). For example, a guest staying in a $100-per-night Airbnb room would pay an extra $14 a night.

Luxury travel digs without the hotel

By Mitch Lipka (Reuters) - Shell out a couple of thousand dollars a night for a vacation stay, and you're not going to have to pretend you're anyone's cousin when you pick up the keys - like you might with some Web-based booking sites where people rent out their own homes to travelers.

Airbnb backer General Catalyst starts $675 million venture fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Airbnb backer General Catalyst said on Monday it has established a new $675 million venture-capital fund to invest in early-stage technology firms. The firm, known for investments in fleeting photo-sharing service Snapchat, payments service Stripe, and accommodation service Airbnb, said in a blog post the new fund - its seventh - would grow its presence in Silicon Valley.

Popular Hawaii beach town fires new salvo in tourism battle: Asks state to stop promotion

KAILUA, Hawaii - People from across the world are drawn to the coastal town of Kailua. Its white sand beaches are among the nation's best. Some recommend the Honolulu suburb for its laid-back vibe. And President Barack Obama vacations there with his family each Christmas. But now, the neighbourhood board is asking a state tourism agency to stop encouraging visitors to stay overnight in their town.

Accommodation renter Airbnb fights NY State subpoena on sublets

By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Airbnb, the room-rental service, went to court Wednesday to block a subpoena from the New York Attorney General seeking information on more than 15,000 tenants who rent out their rooms on the popular website. The subpoena would be difficult for the company to comply with because it covers data from hundreds of thousands of separate records, the company told the New York State Supreme Court in a filing.

New York City reverses fine for man who rented out room on Airbnb

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Airbnb says New York City has reversed a $2,400 fine for a man who rented out a room in his apartment through the vacation rentals site. Nigel Warren was fined in May. He and his landlord had appealed the ruling. This week the city's Environmental Control Board took their side, agreeing that short-term rentals are permitted as long as a permanent occupant is present. Warren was not in the apartment when the room was rented, but his roommate was.

AirBnB picks Ireland for European headquarters

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Fast-growing online holiday-rental service AirBnB is to set up its European headquarters in Ireland, joining other U.S. technology companies Google and Apple, which take advantage of the country's low corporate tax rate. Europe is the largest market for AirBnB's web site, which lists anything from furnished homes to spare couches, some for hundreds of dollars a night.

SF bay area start-up taking aim at airport car rental business faces city lawsuit

BURLINGAME, Calif. - Three teenagers are facing a lawsuit from the city of San Francisco alleging that their startup company that allows people to rent cars out to other airport travellers is not following airport regulations. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on May 31. FlightCar launched in February and rents out people's cars while they are travelling. The company gives car owners a share of the proceeds, free airport parking and a car wash in exchange.
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