Airbnb wins bid to provide rooms for Rio 2016 Olympics: source

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Online home rental marketplace Airbnb Inc has won a tender to provide rooms for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as the city scrambles to accommodate fans and visiting athletes, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

The company, which has grown into one of Silicon Valley’s most successful startups in the five years since its inception by a trio of graduates, beat the competition from two other accommodation providers, Hotel Urbano and Alugue Temporada.

The contract is a major milestone in the mainstream for the business, which allows owners to lease their properties on a temporary basis.

As part of the deal, Airbnb will provide 20,000 rooms for the event, the source said without specifying the contract value. As part of this deal, Airbnb will likely become a sponsor and partner of the Games.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This will be the first time that a major sporting event has turned to the general public and its additional rooms to resolve a short-term spike in demand for accommodation. In contrast, in London for the 2012 Olympics, some homeowners faced potential fines for renting out their property during the Games.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Written by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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