Airbnb: the story of the world’s leading home finder and renter
The American company Airbnb is the world leader in the short-term rental housing sector. Through this online service, you can find and book overnight accommodations all over the world. The platform also easily allows you to place your offers and search for clients. The essence of the service is that the owners of the apartments or houses offer their apartments to travelers, they can communicate with those wishing to book an accommodation, select different options, or refuse to rent.
The company’s story began in San Francisco in 2008, when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were faced with the problem of paying rent for an apartment. In order not to be left on the street, the friends started inviting people who needed a place to stay overnight. To do this, the young men bought several air mattresses and rented them out for $80. In addition to the overnight stay, there was a fresh breakfast, which consisted of heated convenience foods. To promote their services, Brian and Joe made their own website. And they chose the perfect time for their idea – a huge number of designers had just arrived in town for a conference, and there was not enough room in the hotels. In a short time, their project became popular, and offers began to come in to organize something similar in other cities.To develop the company, they needed money, and the founders of Airbnb were actively looking for ways to earn it. They sold boxes of cereal with campaign slogans, at a time when the U.S. presidential campaign was in full swing. With enough money to pay off their debts, Gebbia and Chesky met Paul Graham, who helped bring their idea to the Y Combinator incubator. The investors liked the idea of Airbnb, originally called Airbed & Breakfast, and committed $20,000 to its development. The service then acquired the name we know it by today, and with it, $600,000 from Sequoia Capital and Y Ventures. In just one year, 700 thousand successful operations were carried out on the service, which brought the company $7 million.
One of the main points in the early stages of Airbnb’s development was the quality of the photos of the apartments. The founders personally traveled to New York and photographed the rooms – and this approach worked well. Until now there have been strict standards for images to post an offer on the site.
By 2011 Airbnb had 2 million bookings, and just one year later that number grew to 5 million. Five months after the next milestone, a record 10 million bookings were recorded. This event became a turning point for the company, after which it has not lost its position as a leader in the market of short-term rentals. Through the service, you can find overnight accommodation in more than 34 thousand cities around the world. Now the platform brings together people from different countries who have found friends and now come to visit each other.