As people start planning their summer vacations, millions of Americans will likely turn to not just hotels (as was in the case with years past), but also other vacation rentals such as AirBnb. Rashaun Williams, tech mogul and investment adviser to numerous athletes and hip hop artists, knew this and that’s why two years ago, he helped about 12 professional athletes invest and get marketing with HotelTonight, a popular hotel reservation app.
This week, that move paid off for the investors as Airbnb announced that they would be acquiring HotelTonight.
HotelTonight, which was founded in 2010, was acquired by AirBnb for a little over $400 million with about half in cash and half in stock. In 2017, at the time of HotelTonight’s last disclosed fundraising of $37 million, the hotel-booking app had a valuation of $463 million. In 2017, Skift reported that that HotelTonight had 2016 revenue in the $60 million range.
On his Instagram, Williams provided the following insight: “The purchase illuminates how Airbnb, which is planning a public IPO, may be looking to boost growth potential and diversify, as a means of attracting investors. Purchasing a hotel booking site, or even buying hotels, analysts suggest, is an important step before going public, now likely to happen in 2020.
HotelTonight was previously valued at $463m in 2017, after a $131m funding round, and is thought to be worth much more now. Airbnb, which was valued at $31bn after its last funding round in March 2017, needs to broaden its offerings.”
For Williams, who has been described as a man capable shifting “the Baller Mindset to a Mogul Mindset with a core program and visionary knack for investment,” this is just the latest major achievement in a year filled with successes.
Williams has been focusing on athletes and entertainers allocate their funds as an investor and adviser in tech, consumer products, and media companies and his portfolio speaks for itself. With over 100 investments under his belt and over 20 exits, Williams investment portfolio includes major names such as Wizely Finance, Dropbox, Lyft, Ring, and more.
Yet for Williams, his biggest accomplishments are not necessarily found in his investment portfolio, but in the knowledge that he is able to pass along to others. In a Source exclusive interview in December, Williams states that “My first approach is education first. Everything that I do and everything I learn comes from a space of educating people. And what makes me different is that you can see this for free. You can see it in things I say in the press. You can see it on my IG. You can see it on YouTube. You can see it on my website. Most people know me because I have taught them something about investing in tech.”
With almost 30,000 Instagram followers, Williams hopes that others will follow his lead and get involved in investing on a level that is right for him- and hopefully follow him all the way to the bank.