Airbnb buys Russian design startup Lapka

Airbnb buys Russian design startup Lapka
Lapka radiation sensor (Image: Lapka/ Facebook)

30 September 2015

Home-rental service Airbnb has acquired small Russian hardware startup Lapka.

The Lapka team confirmed the merger on the company’s website yesterday.

Specialising in tools for self-care, Lapka is known for sleekly designed gadgets that use sensors to measure various aspects of one’s personal environment, such as humidity, radiation and carbon monoxide. They are also famous for their creation of a small and subtle breathalyser that seamlessly syncs with a smart phone.

Airbnb bought the startup for an undisclosed sum and information about the impact of the acquisition is limited, although Lapka CEO and Creative Director Vadik Marmeladov stated in an interview with Slon magazine that Airbnb bought Lapka not for their products, but for their team. Airbnb told Wired magazine that it acquired Lapka in order to take advantage of the team’s unique skills. “Since the moment Lapka launched their first product,” said co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia, “I have been inspired by their impressive design sensibilities — a combination of beauty, form, and story.”

According to a statement by Mr Marmeladov on the company’s website, Lapka will not be manufacturing or developing any new products but will continue to provide support for existing customers.

Source: Slon (in Russian) and Wired