Travala launches decentralized home sharing service – will it be the next Airbnb?
Pro-crypto travel booking agency Travala.com is launching a decentralized property rental service.
In a Wednesday ad, Travala noted he had teamed up with former executives at Airbnb, Expedia and other companies to launch Dtravel, a decentralized vacation rental platform that could compete with sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. The platform is governed by the community through Dtravel’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO, and uses DeFi to facilitate smart contracts between hosts and guests.
Dtravel claims to mend “the broken relationship between hosts and guests created by existing centralized home sharing platforms.” The platform said that problems with centralized control on competing home sharing platforms have resulted in high fees and a lack of direct communications between hosts and guests, in addition to many not allowing the cryptocurrency as a payment option.
“Traditional home sharing platforms are aligned with their users from the early stages, but over time that changes,” said Travala co-founder and CEO Juan Otero. “With the need to return profits to shareholders, home sharing platforms are forced to extract as many transactions as possible from their platforms.”
Many have criticized platforms like Airbnb for senior executives who rarely, if ever, change policies in response to customer feedback. For example, Airbnb unilaterally decided to issue many refunds to travelers for cancellations at the start of the pandemic last year, but often failed to provide travelers who canceled before a certain date with a way to receive compensation. The move sparked a public outcry from many Airbnb hosts and guests.
Users of the booking site can use Dtravel’s TRVL token to pay for stays and participate in the governance of the platform. However, the token can also be used for staking in order to qualify for certain rewards. The site has promised to distribute $ 35 million in token – on the Binance Smart Chain and the Ethereum network – to the first 100,000 hosts who sign up.
Related: Crypto Travel Agency Travala to Use Binance Channel for Decentralized Services
The launch of the reservation platform comes when vaccinated U.S. residents can enter many other countries without a 14-day quarantine. Some countries in Europe have opened up to American travelers as airlines are reportedly preparing for a peak in air travel this summer.
In May, Travala had over 183,000 monthly active users. Additionally, 72% of all bookings this month were paid for using cryptocurrencies. Dtravel is supported by a $ 5 million funding round from Kenetic Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, DHVC, Plutus VC, GBV Capital, AU21 Capital, Shima Capital, LD Capital and NGC Ventures, and several angel investors.