Airbnb is in talks with Microsoft Corp., which owns Skype, to develop a cloud-to, cloud-enabled platform for hosting and hosting services.
The deal, which could be finalized as early as the second half of the year, would be a boon for the San Francisco-based company, which has been struggling to retain and retain guests and maintain a loyal online audience.
Airbnb is seeking to move beyond a single site to enable multiple platforms.
It has been unable to get a platform off the ground because it lacks the scale to support the kind of growth it needs to thrive in a market where there are no barriers to entry.
It’s unclear whether the Airbnb deal would require Microsoft to relinquish its existing ownership of Skype.
Microsoft acquired Skype in 2012 for $5.9 billion and has been building a platform that will let users share videos and photos on the platform, as well as a virtual assistant, Cortana, to make reservations.
Microsoft has also partnered with some of the world’s biggest hospitality and travel brands to provide cloud hosting services, including Hilton Worldwide, which is launching a new service this week.