“We didn’t want to post on Craigslist because we felt it was too impersonal. Our entrepreneur instinct said ‘build your own site.’ So we did.” Gebbia said.
Back in October 2007, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia launch a website to raise money. The website was meant to turn their apartment into a lodging space to help them to pull in extra cash.
There was a shortage of hotel rooms due to the upcoming industrial designer’s conference in San Francisco and their site got them their first three renters.
A simple website with their loft pictures with home-cooked breakfast offer called Airbed & Breakfast.
Soon after that Nathan Blecharczyk a Harvard University graduate and technical architect joined as the third co-founder of Airbed & Breakfast. Then, the official airbedandbreakfast.com website launches. as others have pointed out they founded Airbnb during the 2008 recession.
That’s why people believe the Airbnb story is one of the most inspiring stories of the 21st century.
The other fascinating thing about founding Airbnb (The shortened version of its original name airbedandbreakfast.com) is that they had neither any investors nor thousands of dollars of credit card debt when it launched. Airbnb actually sells cereal boxes to fund their business. Selling 800 boxes of cereal, $40 each, helped them to fund $30,000 for their company. Their most successful single sale event is the Democratic National Convention in November 2008 to capitalize on the resulting lack of hotel space. Barack Obama and John McCain names are also it the list of cereal buyer to support hosting.
In 2011, Airbnb announces its 1 millionth booking since the website launch in August 2008.
In early 2012, Airbnb expanded its business internationally by opening six international offices in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Moscow, and San Paulo in addition to their offices in San Francisco, London, Hamburg, and Berlin. And as of spring 2014, the Airbnb platform had 10 million guests and 550,000 hosting rooms all over the world and valued over $10B.
The most recent statistics show that Airbnb now has over 2 million room listings in over 190 countries and 34,000 cities. Airbnb has hosted over 40 million guests. The company is worth an estimated 25.5 billion, based on the latest round of funding of 1.5 billion and it is still growing.
So the financial crisis in 2008 heralded this giant business named Airbnb.