Airbnb is amazing. 500 thousand hosts are sharing their apartments, rooms, houses with possibly (my guess) ten of millions of guests already booking accommodations on Airbnb. If (my estimation) a third of these Airbnb accommodations are currently booked at an average of $50/night, that means perhaps $8.3 Million in revenues on Airbnb every day for hosts, of which Airbnb may be drawing $1.25 Million for it’s “Service Fees”, which may mostly be profits at this point. I may be underestimating this thing. Airbnb may be generating $15 Million in daily sales with more than $2 Million nearly pure profits for Airbnb daily, a current $730 Million profit per year. Of course Airbnb has a lot of employees already, and they spend money on Host Insurance, R&D and Marketing. Yet it’s pretty clear that Airbnb is a very profitable business. The question is how much is Airbnb worth now? At the Gigaom Roadmap conference, a guestimated valuation of $12.5 Billion was mentioned on stage by the interviewer. I ask Joe Gebbia jokingly at the end of the video if Google is going to acquire Airbnb. I don’t really mean it jokingly, I would like to see Google acquire Airbnb. And then properly guide it towards the total revolution of rental for people’s spaces worldwide, preferably with a smaller than 15% “Service Fee” on each booking and perhaps more trusted rankings and bookings system. The problem might be that Airbnb already is too expensive and that Google may not want to spend above the price of a Motorola on acquiring it at this point. What’s your experience with Airbnb? I’m posting this video from an Airbnb apartment, after having just spent about a month in several different Airbnb apartments on different continents and I know people who quit their jobs after becoming Airbnb hosts, it really is amazing.
Here are some feature requests that I have (and just made up) for Airbnb:
– $100 or $200 per year, heavy users of Airbnb should become Airbnb Gold Members, and should be able to do unlimited bookings with $0 or a much lower Service Fee than 12%.
– Airbnb Gold Members can get prioritized service, access to special deals on new listings automatically.
– Airbnb Gold Members should get access to “Sort by price” especially showing new listings exclusively.
– Sale of Bluetooth 4.0 Automatic Door Locks, Airbnb should even provide installation services for these types of locks and fully integrate it with Airbnb. New guest just clicks on Airbnb App to open the door using the web/BT4.
– Somehow rental of Smartphones or SIM Cards in every country. Perhaps Airbnb needs to buy an automatic vending machine for those in every airport. When guests arrive, they need to get connected to the web on their smartphone easily.
– Cleaning, key swap services provided and organized by Airbnb.
– Of course Political clarification legalizing the use of Airbnb for owners and renters alike throughout the world. Airbnb needs to campaign with politicians to make this legally clear worldwide.
– Combine with social network of cooks and high quality food delivery into each Airbnb accomodation. You click a button and you can get delicious healthy food delivered for cheap from local talented cooks. For example $8 and you get a delicious meal delivered to your Airbnb door in 30 minutes somehow.
– Organize sport activities around each Airbnb listing. Integrate the booking of Badminton, Tennis, Squash courts, compete with other Airbnb guests or locals automatically. Thus integration with bookings for sports, theatre, cinema, everything can get integrated into one seamless travel experience. This is kind of why I expect Google is thinking to acquire Airbnb regardless of how expensive it may be.
Interview from Gigaom Roadmap (about 10 minutes before I filmed this short Interview):