Airbnb Acquires Adam Cheyer-Founded Startup GamePlanner.AI
Airbnb has acquired AI and design startup GamePlanner.AI, co-founded by Siri and Bixby predecessor Viv Labs creator Adam Cheyer and Siri and Viv executive Siamak Hodjat. The vacation rental platform didn’t disclose financial terms, but there are reports that Airbnb paid around $200 million for the 12-person startup, Airbnb’s first acquisition since going public in 2019.
Not much is known about GamePlanner, which has been operating in stealth mode with little online presence. The startup was developing something at the intersection of AI and design to improve interactive digital features, and the name implies video game work, but that’s about it. Airbnb’s interest isn’t immediately clear, but the company has suggested it is interested in incorporating generative AI as an assistant for people traveling that can learn their habits and interests. Airbnb employs the technology in some behind-the-scenes work and recently debuted a new AI feature called Photo Tour.
“What makes GamePlanner.AI so special is that they combine expertise in AI, design, and community,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. “AI will rapidly alter our world more than any other technology in our lifetime, but we need to ensure that it augments humanity in a positive way. Airbnb is one of the more humanistic companies in technology, and I believe that, together with Adam and his team, we can develop some of the best interfaces and practical applications for AI.”
Airbnb hinted at long-range plans for Gamplanner and the team, but nothing specific. Cheyer has been open about how his vision for AI has long included the kind of expansive abilities now available with generative AI, as he explained to Voicebot founder Bret Kinsella in a recent podcast. Joining Airbnb may help him achieve more of those goals.
“A big part of what attracted us to Airbnb was our shared commitment to using AI to enable human connection,” Cheyer said. “Like Brian, I believe that without great design and community-based intelligence, AI can only achieve a fraction of its potential. But with them, the sky’s the limit. The Airbnb team understands this better than anyone.”