couchsurfing
701 days ago
 

From not-for-profit to investment bucket in 12 months – CouchSurfing takes $15M in latest injection

CouchSurfing was once a fine example of how a web brand could capture a market without feeling the need to make heady revenues and kowtow to the needs of its backers.

Luckily all bad things must come to end!

The peer-to-peer marketplace for budget travellers has since become an incorporated company and, to coincide with the switch last August, raised $7.6 million in capital from heavyweights Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Ventures.

Almost 12 months to day since the last injection, CouchSurfing is in the game again having attracted a further $15 million this week.

In a blog post, officials say the latest round will give the company enough money to “maintain our current staff and add new employees without needing to worry about our finances”.

Other top agenda items include overhauling the website (“it’s unstable and not very easy to use”) and enhancing its mobile products.

Backing the $15 million round are Menlo Ventures and General Catalyst Partners, with Benchmark and Omidyar still continuing their support.

“So we’re focusing all our energy on making a website that’s a more sustainable home for our community: one that works reliably, and easily.

“It’s going to be a big project, and one that will take us a lot of time, but we’re now in a position where we can take that time and do it right.”

The site is also expecting to get a whole lot more social in the coming months, adding place pages which allow room swappers to share photos, discussions and things to do in destinations.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Abhimanyu

    The most interesting element to watch as it unfolds is how they end up monetizing this. CouchSurfing has always been associated with cool and making any changes to the core offering may put off a lot of its original backers (read: hosts and travelers)

     
  2. Pete Meyers

    That’s some serious change they’re finding behind the couch pillows. Any idea how big their team is post-funding?

     
 
 

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