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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.

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.

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.

Quebec cracks down on unregistered B&Bs amid explosion of online rentals

MONTREAL - For a mere $40 a night, visitors to Montreal can book a room in a trendy, art-filled loft not far from the city's Old Port. The apartment's tenant, Alan Ganev, will sleep on the couch. For double that price, you can have Ganev's place all to yourself, and he'll spend the night at his girlfriend's. These are just two of the options on offer at Airbnb, a fast-growing website that advertises short-term accommodation in homes and apartments around the world. There are thousands of places up for grabs in Montreal alone.

At-home chefs open up their kitchens to tourists

A service that pairs tourists looking for an authentic dining experience with hosts who love to throw dinner parties and show off their local cuisine is gaining buzz as the AirBnB of the food and travel world. Launched out of Tel Aviv, hosts who sign up at EatWith open up their kitchens and dining rooms to tourists looking to connect with the locals in one of the most intimate and communal ways possible: over a home-cooked meal. The idea, says founder Guy Michlin, was born from a memorable dinner experience while traveling on the island of Crete in 2010.

At-home chefs open up their kitchens to tourists

A service that pairs tourists looking for an authentic dining experience with hosts who love to throw dinner parties and show off their local cuisine is gaining buzz as the AirBnB of the food and travel world. Launched out of Tel Aviv, hosts who sign up at EatWith open up their kitchens and dining rooms to tourists looking to connect with the locals in one of the most intimate and communal ways possible: over a home-cooked meal. The idea, says founder Guy Michlin, was born from a memorable dinner experience while traveling on the island of Crete in 2010.

'Homeless' Airbnb founder hails sharing economy

On any given night, up to 60,000 people stay in places they found on Airbnb. One of them is always the guy who co-founded the fast-growing online travel lodging service. "In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on," Brian Chesky said at the South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival. "I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco," where the company is based, he said. "It's the best way to take the pulse... The key is to always use your product."

'Homeless' Airbnb founder hails sharing economy

On any given night, up to 60,000 people stay in places they found on Airbnb. One of them is always the guy who co-founded the fast-growing online travel lodging service. "In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on," Brian Chesky said at the South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival. "I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco," where the company is based, he said. "It's the best way to take the pulse... The key is to always use your product."
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