Airbnb is an online community marketplace that facilitates vacation rental and lodging facilities to users. Initially, Airbnb.com was launched as airbedandbreakfast.com which used to rent their own air mattresses to sleep and breakfast for them for some money. Now Airbnb is one of the best online marketplaces for providing rental and lodging facilities and earning billions.
The evolution of Airbnb is an interesting story. So let’s know what is that?
Two guys Joe and Brian from San Francisco were not able to pay rent for their accommodation. They got an idea and thought to rent out 3 air mattresses on the floor to people and serve them breakfast. For this purpose, in the year 2007, they build a simple website consisting of a blog with maps that is airbedandbreakfast.com. Their very first customers were 2 men and 1 woman who paid $80 each. They thought to expand this idea as they found it very beneficial.
They invited Harvard graduate Nathan Blecharczyk to build the website who was their former roommate too. They started form SXSW, Austin and got two bookings through their website. They thought it’s not the only idea they are working on. Before presidential elections of US in 2008, they sold “Obama O’s” cereal and made $30,000. Their work impressed Y Combinator’s Paul Graham and they got their first funding of $2000.
They faced some challenges in their success path. They were earning $200 per week for months and there was no growth. They revised their business model and website and realized that photos of places were not that pretty to attract people. Then they decided to go door to door in New York City and took photos of listed houses. One week later they found growth as they made $400 a week. They got a big buck when a famous singer Bary Manilow rented the entire house.
They got $600,000 seed round from Sequoia Capital and in 2010-2011 raised revenue of $7.2 million. And in 2014, its value is $10 billion and the estimated revenue is $1350 million.
Airbnb has services in more than 190 countries and right now more than 50,000 people have stayed through Airbnb.
More information on Airbnb is in the below infographic which is designed by Nine Hertz.