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Photo: Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Airbnb used to be seen as a direct competitor to hotels — but the lines between the two are increasingly becoming blurred.

What's new: Not only did Airbnb recently acquire HotelTonight, which is a last-minute hotel booking company, but it’s getting into the business of operating hotels itself.

Why it matters: Airbnb has long presented itself as an alternative to hotels, promoting the idea of experiencing a destination “like a local” by staying in a host’s home.

  • It even expanded on the idea a couple of years ago with its Experiences, which are activities designed and led by hosts to give travelers a greater local experience.

Yes, but: Airbnb has long allowed professionally managed vacation rentals in certain locations onto its marketplace, so it has not been entirely hostile to professional accommodations.

  • And last year it made a bigger push to highlight and attract more boutique hotels in an effort to be more mainstream.
  • Even companies like Lyric and its competitors like Sonder advertise their rentals via Airbnb.

Now, with its acquisition of HotelTonight, investment into Lyric, and deal with RXR Realty, it’s fully embracing hotels.

Our thought bubble: This could be a smart move as Airbnb inches closer to going public, when it will need to show investors a diversified revenue stream.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.