The accommodation company Airbnb bought Gameplanner.AI, an artificial intelligence company founded in 2020 by Adam Cheyer, the creator of Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, for $200 million.

Cheyer also worked with Steve Jobs, among others, on the development of Siri. Cheyer later founded Viv Labs, which became the basis for Samsung’s voice assistant.

Gameplanner.AI was acquired to accelerate the company’s AI projects, according to Airbnb. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, has said that generative artificial intelligence will radically change the platform, and he wants to use it as a travel consultant that learns about users over time and improves their travel experience – for example, by matching users with the right rooms.

The deal is Airbnb’s first acquisition since 2019 and could spark Wall Street interest in whether the company’s M&A strategy is changing, potentially making Airbnb more attractive. The company had $11 billion in cash and liquid assets as of the end of September.

Airbnb’s news follows reports that Google is in talks to invest hundreds of millions in another AI startup, Character.AI, which in March raised $150 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz at a $1 billion valuation.

Source: CNBC