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Times of India Group invests in AirBnB

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Online room and space reservation business AirBnB has entered into a strategic partnership with, and raised an undisclosed amount of investment from the Times of India Group, reports Times Group publication Economic Times.

Not AirBnB’s first deal in India

This is AirBnB’s second Indian partnership: in 2012, it had launched in India, in partnership with the Springstar incubator, Springstar incubator, which was helping the company expand internationally, including in India. Springstar is (was?) an incubator formed by Klaus Hommels, Oliver Jung and Smile Interactive’s Harish Bahl.

A part of the Times Global Partner initiative

The Times of India Group’s AirBnB partnership comes under its Times Global Partner initiative, which has previously worked with Coursera, Uber, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Ad Age (the launch here), Gawker Media and Ziff Davis. The Times of India Group will advertise and market AirBnB’s services in the country, provide support for operations, hiring and strategy, and help expand its local listings. AirBnB says it will look to tap the outbound travel market from India. Note that AirBnB had appointed Amanpreet Bajaj as its country manager for India around a year ago.

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Times of India group had pioneered the private treaties business, now called Brand Capital, which involved taking equity in companies in exchange for marketing inventory. An example of how private treaties deals were structured, here. The Times Global Partner initiative looks similar, but appears to be much more, given that the group also runs properties and helps provide support for Indian operations.

Times Internet’s previous TGP deals:

– In February, Times Internet partnered with Investopedia for financial content, a month after it acquired the micro content app Viral Shorts.

– In December, Times Internet acquired Get Me A Shop (GMAS) as well as participated in a $20 million round of funding for bus aggregator Shuttl

– In March last year Times Internet entered into a strategic partnership with the taxi booking service Uber.

– In May, the Bennett, Coleman and Co Limited (BCCL) owned company signed a deal with Perform Group’s football portal Goal to bring worldwide content to India.

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– Times Internet had invested in ecommerce venture Fab to help it enter India, but likely lost money on that deal.

– In November last year, Times Global Partners forayed into videos by a signing a strategic partnership with Electus Digital. As part of this partnership, Times Internet launched the Indian editions of three Electus Digital websites: the comedy site CollegeHumor.com, geek culture site Dorkly.com and Hip-hop focused celebrity site WatchLOUD.com.

– It also helped luxury blog Pursuitist launch its Indian edition Pursuitist.in which went live in December 2013.

– Same with UK-based media group Future Plc for the Indian edition of its technology news and reviews site TechRadar and San Francisco-based digital publishing company Say Media for Indian editions of Say Media’s home design site Remodelista and tech news site ReadWrite.

 

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