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Airbnb raising $450-500M from TPG; The Smile Connection

Online room and space reservation business AirBnB has raised $500 million in funding at a valuation of $10 billion in a round led by TPG Growth, the equity investment arm of TPG, reports Techcrunch. Wall Street Journal meanwhile reports that the company raised $450 million in the round. The Smile Connection? Update: Smile Group Founder and Katalyzer General Partner Harish Bahl has informed us that AirBnB emerging markets project was already done by Springstar. While AirBnB hasn't revealed its plans, there is an interesting connection to note between the TPG and AirBnB: In 2012, Airbnb had tied-up with Smile group owned Springstar to launch international operations (including in India), and the Smile Group has recently announced a $100 million joint venture with TPG, called Katalyzers, to help companies expand to developing markets such as South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. We wonder if AirBnB will be a part of this partnership. While speaking to Medianama, Bahl had said that Springstar focuses on European operations while Katalyzers focuses on developing countries. Bahl had also said that they worked with TPG for the Katalyzers JV due to it connections in silicon valley apart from their deep pockets. That being the case there is a possibility that Katalyzer might help AirBnB expand to several emerging markets. $826 Million Raised In Investments Apart from TPG, Dragoneer Investment Group, Sequoia and mutual fund T. Rowe Price were also involved in the round along with a few earlier investors in the company. This increases the total funds raised by AirBnB to $826 million. Earlier investors include Y-Combinator,…

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