Airbnb to open technology hub in Atlanta

Short-term and vacation home rental giant Airbnb will open an East Coast technology hub in Atlanta.

The company said in a Feb. 18 press release that it chose Atlanta for the hub at the end of 2019, but delayed making an announcement due to the arrival of COVID-19. The company laid off 25 percent of its employees last May as vacation travel stopped due to the pandemic.

However, as travel began to rebound, Airbnb “restarted conversations in Atlanta” for the technology hub, which will house the company’s product development teams. Airbnb said in its statement that it anticipates “our Atlanta office will become the regional base for hundreds of technical and non-technical roles over time.”

Factors for choosing Atlanta included a strong technology education infrastructure, including institutions committed to specifically supporting communities of color.

Airbnb did not disclose what area of the city it’s looking to set up shop, but said it would  “establish a physical space in Atlanta later this year.”  If any economic incentives or credits are associated with the location, Airbnb said it will donate them back to the city for community impact initiatives.

Airbnb said it would also continue to develop community partnerships and expand entrepreneurial opportunities in Atlanta including working with HBCUs and other universities in the Atlanta area to strengthen opportunity pipelines, support community organizations like BestFin and Tech Bridge with hardware for students in need, and support programming for entrepreneurs interested in home sharing and technology and leadership development forums.