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Privately held company
Founded2010, Launch March 2011
Key people
Stephan Uhrenbacher (Chairman, Founder)
Roman Bach (Co-Founder)
OwnereVentures, Redpoint, T-Ventures, Founders

9flats is an online marketplace enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms. The company does not own any lodging; it is merely a broker and receives percentage service fees (commissions) from both guests and hosts in conjunction with every booking.[2][3]

The site is a European competitor to the US-based Airbnb.[4]


9flats was launched by German internet entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher – founder of Qype, and former head of northern European operations for lastminute.com.[3][5]

The founders secured funding from venture capital fund E.ventures (CityDeal/Groupon) and launched 9flats.com in February 2011[3] with an inventory of 5,000 places.[6] The company was based in nine different locations around the world,[7] but is now headquartered in Hamburg.[3]

In May 2011, 9flats secured another round of investment from venture capital funds Redpoint Ventures (HomeAway), ProFounder (ex-lastminute.com) and Greycroft Partners, bringing the total funding to US$10 million.[8] In January 2012, 9flats completed a round of funding led by T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom AG. This round included Redpoint Ventures and E-Venture Capital Partners (Hamburg).[9]

In April 2012, 9flats had over 50,000 members and 30,000 hosts[10] in 104 countries.[11]

In late 2011, 9flats became the first well-known European or North American company in the social travel space to open an Asian office in Singapore, led by VP of Asia Ng Wei Leen, establishing a presence ahead of global competitors like Airbnb.[12][13]

In August 2012, 9flats acquired the Toronto-based competitor iStopOver, extending its service to North America and growing its property base to 100.000 apartments.[14][15]

In March 2013, 9flats introduced bitcoin as payment method and is ever since supporting projects around the cryptocurrency.[16]

In February 2014, Roman Bach was named CEO; he vacated that post in April, 2016. Uhrenbacher moved to the advisory board.[5]

In 2014, 9flats announced that it is the first profitable player in the Social Travel Industry.[5]

In November 2014, 9flats introduced a new payment option: book now, pay later.[17]

In October 2016, 9flats acquired Berlin based competitor Wimdu.[18]

In December 2016, 9flats sold the Wimdu entity to Wyndham Hotels [19]


  1. ^ "9FLATS.COM PTE. LTD". Bizfile. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  2. ^ Couts, Andrew (23 May 2011). "Travel hotel-free by finding unique lodging online". Digital Trends.
  3. ^ a b c d Solon, Olivia (17 May 2011). "9flats launches in UK, lets you rent your spare room to the web". Wired. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ Palmer, Maija (28 October 2011). "Berlin emerges as technology challenger". Financial Times.(subscription required)
  5. ^ a b c O'Hear, Steve (February 20, 2014). "9flats Founder Steps Down From CEO As Hamburg-Based Airbnb Competitor Breaks Even". TechCrunch.
  6. ^ Seiderer, Sophia (16 March 2012). "Schlafplatzvermittlung im Internet: Von Sofa bis Penthouse". Die Welt. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  7. ^ Uhrenbacher, Stephan. "9flats.com". Stephan Uhrenbacher blog. Stephan Uhrenbacher. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (31 May 2011). "Airbnb moves 'aggressively' into Europe". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  9. ^ Bernau, Varinia (12 January 2012). "Was die Telekom mit Groupon und 9flats vorhat". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  10. ^ 9flats. "9flats LinkedIn Overview". 9flats LinkedIn page. LinkedIn. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  11. ^ Hall, Max (11 January 2012). "9flats gets multi-million Deutsche Telekom funding". www.venturevillage.eu. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  12. ^ "WIT - WEB IN TRAVEL : 9flats banks on security and customer service to make it big in Asia". classic.webintravel.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  13. ^ "Airbnb sets up Singapore office". SG Magazine Online. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  14. ^ O'Hear, Steve (August 6, 2012). "9flats Acquires iStopOver To Put The Heat On Airbnb, Doubles Its Rentals Capacity". TechCrunch.
  15. ^ Meyer, David (August 6, 2012). "Airbnb rivals consolidate as 9flats picks up iStopOver". GigaOm.
  16. ^ Vigna, Paul (20 November 2013). "Bitcoin Couple Travels the World Using Virtual Cash". Wall Street Journal.
  17. ^ https://www.9flats.com/de
  18. ^ "Airbnb's Most Well-Funded European Rival Wimdu Is Acquired by 9flats". Skift. 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  19. ^ "Wyndham Steps Up Investment in Sharing Economy With Two New European Deals". Skift. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2018-02-12.

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