AirB&B: from rags to riches🏠🌟

AirB&B: from rags to riches🏠🌟
Country: the USA 🇺🇸
Total market value: $130 billion
Business model: marketplace

Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia started their career when they were students. They were completely broke but ambitious. Thus, they managed to turn their service into the business valued at billions of dollars. Despite nearly no one believed in Airbnb success, it has become a marketplace giant.

In 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia hardly could make ends meet. In order to scrape together enough money for rent, they allowed strangers to sleep on air beds in their apartment and have breakfast.

This gave a new business idea. Guests were supposed to pay hosts for the housing all over the world. Though large investors of Silicon Valley didn’t believe in the success of Brian and Joe’s project at all. However, guys were committed to making their idea happen. They even started to sell cereal boxes labeled with “Obama O’s and Captain McCains.

The presidential campaign in 2008 worked in their favor: boxes were sold very well. This helped Brian and Joe kill two birds with one stone: they got out of debt and attracted Paul Graham’s attention. This way the startup got into “Y combinator”.

Very soon, Airbnb raised $7 million and reported about 700,000 operations of booking. In 2012, the numbers of bookings reached 10 million which was an absolute record. Today the service is used by over 40 million guests in 34,000 cities all over the world.

Success key
In order to better understand customers, the founders set off to New York. They rented AirB&B apartments themselves to test how well it works. Brian and Joe came to a conclusion that the major things were good pictures and an established process of giving keys and cleaning. So, they had to instruct each host and take photos of their apartment.

The business plans to develop its service in several directions:
• developing relations with hosts or booking locations;
• working with users and their needs;
• business expansion by increasing the number of hosts and involving new users in the service.

Airbnb has introduced an updated development program called "Winter release". The company management highlighted an additional 50 business activities to improve the service.

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