These independent entities are to evangelize for the sharing economy movement and convince legislators to stop harassing their way of living. Airbnb recently successfully defended itself and others in its space from a proposition on the San Francisco ballot that would have implemented stricter regulations. The company spent $8 million on its defense. Of course, the new funding could also go towards developing more tools for hosts and guests to really take advantage of the concept, similar to the ones that Airbnb unveiled at its Airbnb Open conference last month, or perhaps striking up more partnerships like the one it formed with American Express. Get the full story at VentureBeat