Airizu, the Airbnb clone backed by German capitalists Samwer brothers aiming to take on the China market, is found closed. The site, Airizu.com, now is redirected to Wimdu, the Europe-based travel rental site that is also built by Samwer brothers’ company Rocket Internet.
Less than two months ago we heard that Airizu had laid off 80% employees and Samwer brothers stopped funding the service. Airizu still has 20 employees who are managing accommodations for Wimdu, as reported (report in Chinese).
Launched in 2011, Airizu was one of the earliest entrants in travel rentals in China. As founded by the notorious Samwer brothers, it was expected it would soon be sold to other players when it got traction and hype. ELong, one of the leading Chinese online travel services, and Homeway reportedly offered to buy it but were rejected by Samwer brothers. The rumored reason is the offered prices were lower than expected.
As for the local Airbnb-like services, it seems the game has just began. Mayi, the one spun off from Ganji the classified site, raised $10 million to start up. Core employees of Mayi left the company and built another one, Xiaozhu, claiming that it also had raised $ 10 million in funding. Tujia, a more ambitious one, has raised RMB 400 million ($65mn). Soufun, one of the largest online estate services, founded Youtianxia.