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.
“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 is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has 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, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.