Airbnb buys Accomable to make its listings more disability-friendly

Airbnb said on Thursday the item acquired London startup Accomable to expand home-renting opportunities for people with disabilities, the latest expansion as Airbnb grows its global travel business.

The deal includes adding to the Airbnb website Accomable’s roughly 1,100 house in addition to apartment listings of which can accommodate guests with physical disabilities, the companies said. San Francisco-based Airbnb lists more than 4 million houses, apartments, rooms, boats in addition to various other accommodations of which guests rent directly via the owners, in addition to Airbnb takes a cut of the fee.

The companies declined to disclose the cost in addition to terms of the deal. The Accomable website, which is usually similar to Airbnb yet only features properties accessible to people with disabilities, will be shut down inside the coming months. Airbnb said the item hired Accomable’s founders in addition to most of its seven-person staff to build out Airbnb’s wheelchair-accessible housing inventory in addition to provide more complete in addition to accurate information to disabled travelers, who often rely on a hotel emailing pictures of a room to determine whether the item is usually accessible.

Airbnb said the item will add features so home owners can detail in their listings whether their homes have stairs or an elevator, doorways in addition to bathrooms wide enough to fit a wheelchair in addition to showers with handlebars or a chair.

Accomable co-founder Srin Madipalli, 31, began the company two years ago after quitting his job as a corporate lawyer in addition to embarking on a 5 months of travel around the planet. He said he repeatedly found of which information about wheelchair accessibility at hotels was inaccurate.

“You’d turn up to places in addition to the shower was tiny or there was a step to get in,” he said. “You have to somehow improvise for the night in addition to find a way to not properly use the bathroom. the item’s just actually humiliating in addition to embarrassing.”

Madipalli was born with spinal muscular atrophy, which left him without use of his legs in addition to limited use of his arms.

Accomable had lots of interested travelers yet not enough cash or staff to build out the inventory, Madipalli said. The site was only able to fulfill about 5 to 10 percent of booking requests. He raised nearly $400,000 via investors.

“We see the need every day, which is usually why we wanted to team up that has a bigger player,” Madipalli said.

Madipalli said he has never used Airbnb because of the lack of wheelchair-accessible rentals.

“yet I look forward to trying the item out,” he said.

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