San Francisco-based CouchSurfing, an online network through which travelers find privately owned accommodations, has raised $7.6 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network. The company had revenues of $1.16 million in 2009.
An earlier version of this brief misstated the company’s revenue.
CouchSurfing International, a global online network that builds real life communities for the travel-minded to discover and connect with each other, today announced it has closed $7.6 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network. This also marks CouchSurfing’s transition from operating as a non-profit to its new status as a B Corporation – a new type of corporation that uses the power of business to create public benefit. CouchSurfing today also announced that co-founder Daniel Hoffer has taken on the role of President and CEO and that Matt Cohler, general partner at Benchmark Capital, has joined its Board of Directors, along with Todor Tashev, investment partner at Omidyar Network, as a board observer.
“With its network of more than three million members, CouchSurfing has tapped into a passionate and highly engaged community at the nexus of the social, mobile and local trends,” said Matt Cohler, general partner, Benchmark Capital and CouchSurfing board member. “We see an enormous opportunity, and couldn’t be more excited to back this team as the market for socially connected travel experiences starts to hit a tipping point.”
CouchSurfing combines social networking technology with cultural exchange to create inspiring experiences and meaningful connections which increase global knowledge and understanding. Since its inception in 2004, CouchSurfing has evolved from a non-profit connecting travelers with local hosts, into a mission-driven, global community of travel-minded people engaging in thousands of connections, homestays, meetings and events every day in locations all over the world. With more than three million community members dedicated to cultural exchange and creating experiences that contribute to personal development, CouchSurfing has enabled over 5.6 million unique culturally-infused experiences and over 3.5 million friendships.
“CouchSurfing has managed to create a large scale trust network between perfect strangers, coming from varied cultures and spread around the world,” said Karen Cook, world renowned trust expert, author and Director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Stanford University.