The company isn’t sharing the size of the check, but says it represents Kutcher’s biggest venture investment to date. And while his investment probably isn’t eye popping, Kutcher is nevertheless a big get for Airbnb. The actor’s dance dance card is full of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs courting his new investment arm, which he called A Grade. Kutcher recently invested in another startup SeatGeek.
As part of the deal, the actor will join the Airbnb team as an “ally and trusted advisor” who will help out in a “community engagement” capacity. From the announcement:
With Ashton on board, we’ll be working together to take our community engagement to the next level and expand our international presence to reach more people from different cultures all over the world. It’s an exciting time for us. Airbnb has pioneered an industry and broken new ground as a trusted community marketplace where people from all over the world can discover and book unique spaces from people anywhere in the world. Now it’s time to expand and time to bring our concept to communities on an international scale.
Airbnb matches frugal travelers with locals willing to accomodate them for a price. It’s like Couchsurfing for a more entrepreneurial crowd. Launched from humble beginnings, the company’s co-founders once sold special breakfast cereal in boxes that carried funky names (Obama O’s and Breakfast of Change) to attendees of the Democratic National Convention in November 2008 to keep Airbnb alive.
It got a major boost in late 2010, when it snagged $7.2 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners, on top of the $600,000 it received in seed funding. And the peer-to-peer service is hitting critical mass with listings in more than 60,000 listings in 9,000 cities and 170 countries. In today’s blog post, Airbnb praised Kutcher for taking his “fascination with tech to new heights with his avid approach to brand marketing and social media.”
Take a look at a video interview we did with Airbnb founder Brian Chesky.
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