Airbnb is closing in on a deal to acquire Tilt, according to The Information. There are a couple different numbers floating around as the potential purchase price— TechCrunch has it pegged at about $50 million, while The Information is claiming it’s more in the range of $10 million to $20 million. Either way, it would represent a stark drop from the $400 million valuation the company reportedly received with a $30 million round in 2015.
Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, Tilt offers a platform designed to make it easy for groups and communities to collect, fundraise or pool money online. The company launched its website while participating in the acclaimed Y Combinator accelerator program, and a few months later it secured a $2.1 million investment from SV Angel and CrunchFund, among others.
The acquisition by Airbnb makes sense as the company looks to expand its product offering before pursuing its much-anticipated IPO. Late last year Airbnb announced the launch of "Experiences," which offers users the ability to complement their travel plans with activities led by locals. Tilt’s tech could play a key role in assisting with the transfer of money for these activities, or splitting the cost between groups of travelers that participate in an activity together.
So grows the list of companies that have sold for pennies on the dollar. Last year, One Kings Lane sold to Bed Bath & Beyond for $11.8 million, a fraction of the $812 million valuation it got with its preceding private financing. Smartwatch company Pebble was also acquired in 2016, with Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) reportedly shelling out between $34 million and $40 million for the struggling startup. Not the ending Pebble probably had in mind when it prior turned down a $740 million takeover bid by Citizen.
Tilt, which previously operated under the name Crowdtilt until the company rebranded in 2014, has raised about $67 million in funding. Existing investors include DCM Ventures, Felicis Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz—the latter of which also a backer of Airbnb.