Airbnb is an American company that operates an online marketplace for lodging, vacation rentals, and tourism activities. It provides a platform for hosts to accommodate guests with short-term lodging services. Airbnb brought a whirlwind of change in the hospitality sector is considered a threat. The success story of this startup is quite inspirational.
It all began in 2007 when Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky met in Rhode School of Design and rented an apartment together. Due to the high rent, the roommates tried to find some means to pay for it. After brainstorming for some time, they came up with an idea. The duo put an air mattress in the living room and converted their apartment into a Bed and Breakfast. In February 2008, Chesky’s former roommate, Nathan Blecharczyk, joined the venture. They put together a website that offered short-term living quarters and breakfast for those who were unable to book a hotel. Their website, Airbedandbreakfast.com, launched on August 11, 2008.
The founders welcomed their first customers in town in the summer of 2008, during the Industrial Design Conference. They saw all the hotels being sold out and offered air beds and breakfast for the event participants. The trio discovered a way of making friends while also making money.
Struggles Faced by Airbnb
As they gained recognition, they decided to revamp the entire website. The company made make the booking process easier for the users, with just three clicks. Once the website got a whole new look, they met up with fifteen different angel investors. Unfortunately, the investors completely rejected them. Knee-deep in debt, the company decided to launch the idea again during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
The previous experience gave them the impression that big conferences meant a lot of people finding rooms to stay overnight. Since their website wasn’t making any money, they turned to design cereal boxes into political designs for the elections. They sold this for approximately $40 a box, where each one came with a limited-edition number and a description of their company. This brilliant idea got them to a total of $30,000.
The path to Success
In March of 2009, they decided to change the company’s name from Air Bed and Breakfast to Airbnb. It allowed them to not be associated with just air mattresses anymore. Within a month, they got a seed investment of $600,000. During this period, the trio learned a lot about their website, modified it, and made it as user-friendly and attractive as possible. The grew exponentially during this time.
By the year 2011, Airbnb became a massive hit, present in over 89 countries, with 1 million nights booked. In the same year, various venture capitalists put $112 million into the startup. This made Airbnb a Unicorn startup in Silicon Valley, with a valuation of $1 billion. Even though they were growing, the company did face obstacles. Despite the hurdles and the hardships, Airbnb continued to rise.
In 2012, Airbnb opened an office in Sydney and it announced the plan to start the service in Indonesia and Thailand. In December of 2012, Airbnb made its strategy to enter more aggressively into the Asian Market and also started an office at Singapore.
It was in 2014 that the company closed on an Investment of 450 million US dollars by TPG Capital. Additional funding was provided by Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group. Airbnb became the profitable during the first half of 2016 when its revenue grew more than 80% from 2015 and 2016. It had a 200million US dollar profit.
About the Airbnb Founders
Airbnb was founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008. The three friends founded the company after they were unable to afford the rent on their San Francisco apartment and came up with the idea to create a platform that would allow people to rent out their homes or spare rooms to travelers. Since its founding, Airbnb has become one of the most popular and successful companies in the sharing economy, with millions of listings in countries all around the world. Brian Chesky serves as the CEO of the company, while Joe Gebbia is the Chief Product Officer and Nathan Blecharczyk is the Chief Technology Officer.
Chesky has led the company through its growth into one of the most popular and successful companies in the sharing economy. Chesky is known for his focus on design and user experience, and has been instrumental in developing the unique culture of the company. Prior to co-founding Airbnb, Chesky worked as an industrial designer and taught himself how to code. He has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine and has been featured on the Forbes list of billionaires.
Joe Gebbia is known for his focus on user experience and design thinking and has been instrumental in shaping the unique culture of the company. Prior to co-founding Airbnb, Gebbia worked as a designer and entrepreneur. He has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine and has been featured on the Forbes list of billionaires.
Blecharczyk is responsible for leading the company’s engineering team and overseeing the development of new products and features. Prior to co-founding Airbnb, Blecharczyk worked as a software engineer and entrepreneur. He has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine and has been featured on the Forbes list of billionaires.
Airbnb acquired Accoleo who was a German Competitor, on May 2011 after which it had its first International office in Hamburg. Airbnb also acquired London based rival CrashPadder, and this particular acquisition had led to Airbnb being the most popular lodging site in London. Again in 2012, Airbnb acquired NabeWise which is an online city guide and this particular acquisition led to shift of the company’s focus on offering hyperlocal suggestions to travelers.
In 2012, it acquired LocalMind, a location based question answer platform. In 2017, the company had acquired Luxury Retreats International and in the same year, it had also acquired Tilt.com which is a social payment company.
Lessons we can learn from this success story
The success story of Airbnb from a small apartment in San Fransisco to becoming one of the biggest competitors in the hospitality industry is very inspiring. It teaches us not to give up even if we face failures. We should learn how we can effectively convert our failures to success. Once we overcome a failure, we learn that there are hidden strengths and potentials within us. We should keep believing in ourselves and always aim for the best.
Interesting Facts About Airbnb
- The company was founded in 2008, when co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were struggling to pay their rent in San Francisco and came up with the idea to create a platform that would allow people to rent out their homes or spare rooms to travelers.
- Airbnb was originally called “AirBed & Breakfast,” and the first guests to use the platform were three attendees of a design conference who needed a place to stay when all the local hotels were booked.
- Airbnb is now available in over 100,000 cities in more than 220 countries and regions around the world.
- To date, Airbnb has had over 800 million guest arrivals at its listings.
- Airbnb has a number of unique properties available for rent on its platform, including treehouses, yurts, and even castles.
- In 2018, Airbnb acquired Luxury Retreats, a high-end vacation rental company, in a deal worth more than $300 million.
- In 2019, Airbnb went public and became a publicly-traded company.
- Vrbo (formerly known as HomeAway) is a vacation rental platform that allows people to list and book properties around the world. It was founded in 2005 and was acquired by Expedia Group in 2015.
- Booking.com is an online travel agency that allows people to book accommodations, flights, and other travel services. It was founded in 1996 and is now one of the largest travel companies in the world.
- Hotels.com is an online hotel booking platform that allows people to find and book accommodations at hotels around the world. It was founded in 1991 and is now a part of the Expedia Group.
- Trivago is a hotel price comparison website that allows people to compare prices and find deals on accommodations at hotels around the world. It was founded in 2005 and is now owned by Expedia Group.
- Agoda is an online travel agency that allows people to book accommodations, flights, and other travel services. It was founded in 2005 and is now owned by the online travel company Booking Holdings.
- Oyo is a hotel chain and vacation rental company that operates in countries around the world. It was founded in 2013 and has grown quickly to become one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Oyo offers both traditional hotel accommodations and vacation rentals through its platform.
When was Airbnb founded and by who?
Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia.
How many countries is Airbnb present in?
Airbnb has listings in more than 220 countries and regions.
Who is the current CEO of Airbnb?