In 2018, we’ve seen the number of companies and business travellers using Airbnb for work grow exponentially. Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL – Airbnb on Thursday announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight for an undisclosed sum. 

This is according to a report by the Verge, which states that the company has been working over the years to expand its home rental marketplace into a travel platform.

The company's platform already includes concierge services and optional tours for select bookings. 

According to a report by Recode, HotelTonight was last valued at $450 million and Airbnb is valued at $31 billion and is expected to file for an initial public offering this year.

According to a press release, the HotelTonight app will continue to operate as usual.

Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community said in the statement: "A big part of building an end-to-end travel platform is serving every guest, whether they plan their trip a year or a day in advance. Working with the incredible team at HotelTonight, we will offer guests an unparalleled last-minute travel experience that provides unique, memorable hospitality on every trip, on any schedule, at any time."

Sam Shank, Co-founder & CEO of HotelTonight said in the statement: "We started HotelTonight because we knew people wanted a better way to book an amazing hotel room on-demand, and we are excited to join forces with Airbnb to bring this service to guests around the world.

Together, HotelTonight and Airbnb can give guests more choices and the world’s best boutique and independent hotels a genuine partner to connect them with those guests."