Airbnb denies buying Scottish property technology firm

Letting Cloud announced on Tuesday morning it had been bought out by Airbnb after trading for four years.

Airbnb denies buying Edinburgh-based property technology firm Letting Cloud iStock

Vacation rental giant Airbnb has denied all reports of buying out an Edinburgh-based property technology firm.

A press release on behalf of Letting Cloud issued on Tuesday morning said it had been bought out by Airbnb after trading for four years.

It said the firm has more than 5,000 agents advertising over 500,000 properties, and that it expected to help Airbnb with the Scottish Government’s legislation changes surrounding short-term holiday lets.

However, Airbnb has denied any relationship or acquisition of Letting Cloud.

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “We have no relationship with this company, we have had no discussions with this company, and we have not acquired – nor do we intend to acquire – this company.”

But Letting Cloud’s CEO Grant MacCusker spoke to STV News on Tuesday and said the deal was great for the “tech-ecosystem” in Scotland.

“I had a few offers on the table, and I just thought the right one was Airbnb and I knew that our technology would be looked after and I knew that our customers would be looked after,” he said.

The Letting Cloud press release included quotes from Airbnb’s director of engineering Jordanna Kwok which said: “We were attracted by the array of interesting problems being tackled by Letting Cloud, and how they were addressing them using modern and emerging technology.

The quote continued: “Whilst both companies shared similar values and market share, the technical acquisition will bring more clarity to the UK short-term and holiday rental market.

“Airbnb are continuing to thrive on solving interesting problems which will help with the recent government legislation being rolled out in Scotland and the UK.”

The release also stated that a handover process was “currently under way”.

A spokesperson for Letting Cloud said: “In the wake of recent developments in various media outlets, the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers and we will not be making any further comment at this time.”

STV News has contacted Airbnb’s press office in the US.

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