Russia’s dominant horizontal Avito.ru has launched a short-term property rental service, according to Russian newspaper RBC. The service will put Avito in direct competition with vacation rental giant AirBnB.
The new offering, which will part of the Avito Services category, will offer daily rates on homes across Russia. The service will be available in the 11 cities hosting the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and is expected to be made available across all of Russia by the end of 2018.
When making a booking, users will have to pay the first day of rental immediately to reserve, and the remainder at a later stage. The site will take a 10 percent commission on all bookings.
Despite a slow start, AirBnB has expanded its audience in Russia in recent years and the AirBnB.ru site boasted total monthly traffic of 5.5 million in April, according to SimilarWeb. If measured against other real estate verticals, AirBnB would be a top 10 site.
Avito has clearly been paying attention to its rise and understands that the U.S. major will receive an additional boost from the World Cup as the inflow of foreigners look to book accommodation for the sporting event.
However, the company’s service will be in Russian, so foreign visitors would still find the AirBnB offering easier to navigate.