Two very large startups that have ruffled feathers in New York City are partnering together in what appears to be a synergistic mega-disruption.
Airbnb, the traditional hotel industry disruptor, and WeWork, the traditional office disruptor, are joining forces to offer a complimentary desk at the closest WeWork to any Airbnb guest as part of a pilot in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, London and Sydney, the companies confirmed Thursday.
The pilot launched Wednesday with an initial progress report expected in six months, according to a WeWork spokesman.
Statements from both companies suggest that the trend of intermingling work and personal life into one perpetual networking event isn't going anywhere. (WeWork already rents co-living apartments in the same building as its 110 Wall Street location.)
"We all know part of living includes working, so if an Airbnb guest is looking for a collaborative environment or space to host meetings while traveling for work, we want to provide them with options," said David Holyoke, global head of Airbnb for Work.
"The way people work is changing. The way people travel for work is changing. Business travel is becoming less about being a road warrior and more about aligning professional and personal needs," said Dina Berrada, VP of Product for WeWork, in a statement.
Bloomberg, which broke the news, points out that the deal could lure business travelers away from traditional hotels. Share Better, a coalition of housing advocates and hotel unions that has fought Airbnb's NYC expansion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
WeWork is valued at about $20 billion. Airbnb, at about $31 billion.