Airbnb goes social and local with acquisition of Localmind

Airbnb announced today that it has acquired the startup Localmind, which makes a social app that allows users to ask and answer questions specific to locations. In a blog post, Airbnb noted that the team would bring a new social component to the company, and the location-based information that Localmind has been working on is a perfect fit with what Airbnb is doing:

“We love Localmind’s product – a platform that lets users crowdsource wisdom about what’s happening on the local scene in real time. Even more than that, we think the Localmind team (Lenny Rachitsky, Beau Haugh, and Nelson Gauthier) is frankly awesome.

So this acquisition means that everything related to Localmind – including technology, intellectual property, product, and (of course!) the Localmind team – are now part of Airbnb.

The unification is already bearing fruit. The Localmind product team is integrating new social initiatives into the Airbnb experience. It’s just what our passionate global community has been asking for.”

Airbnb is the poster child for the collaborative consumption model, having rolled out a home-sharing product in 2008 and grown to become a significant part of the travel industry in the U.S. The company came through the Y Combinator program and most recently raised $112 million in July 2011.

Airbnb recently rolled out a Neighborhoods product to give users greater insights into the flavor of individual neighborhoods within popular Airbnb cities, as well as parternships with local cafes to promote in-person connections. Localmind’s location-based Q&A service seems like a fit as the company aims to make the travel experience more seamless for new visitors.