Four months later in February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky’s friend, joined the team as the Chief Technology Officer. The new venture, called AirBed & Breakfast launched its website Airbedandbreakfast.com in August 2008.
They offered short-term living quarters, breakfast, and a unique business networking opportunity for those who were unable to book a hotel.
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Their first customers flow in the same summer during the Industrial Design Conference held in San Francisco, when visitors had a hard time to find lodging in the city.
The rest is a history. Airbnb has over three million lodging listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries. It is now worth approximately $31 billion.
It’s amazing how quickly Airbnb became part of our vernacular. It is now one of the first names that come to mind when we think of accommodation with people often saying how they ‘could just get an Airbnb’ instead of paying extortionate rates for hotels. This infographic from Half Price takes you through the key milestones in the growth of Airbnb and outlines how it become the massive company it is today.
On the simplest level, Airbnb has managed to find a better and cheaper way for people to find accommodation when traveling. Not only that, but they have also found a way for the hosts to make money by accommodating guests. Everyone is getting something out of it, as is Airbnb of course, with a service fee of 6-12%.
Like many big companies, Airbnb has very humble beginnings and it all started when the founders rented mattresses in their homes to cover rent. From there though, the idea was born, and they quickly realized that the idea could be a business. A business with 150 million global users was something they most likely didn’t predict.
No one starts a company and expects it to be as big as Airbnb and the founders could surely never have envisaged what it has become. When a company gets this big so quickly it is always going to have teething problems, and only now do the founders of Airbnb seem to be getting control of some of the issues.
They have recently agreed to test for racial discrimination by hosts with many seeing it as a big step forward for the company. Find out more about all things Airbnb in the infographic.