Some time ago we chatted with Airbnb, the well known home-sharing company. As Airbnb prepares itself to become a leader among the hospitality titans, there have been many exciting events that didn’t make it into our article.
Airbnb is suspected to go public (IPO) along with its other unicorn companions like Uber, Lyft, and WeWork. But before this happens (if it does), the cofounders have been busy working towards their end goal: complete end-to-end services.
Like many other successful companies, the founders and leaders never settle for comfortable. This drive can always be traced back to its origin story. For Amazon, Jeff Bezos is notorious for running the company as if it were still in its infancy. With Airbnb, by venturing into unknown territory, they are staying true to their history of taking chances where others won’t.
Now, Airbnb wants to expand beyond homes and enter into the entire travel experience. Considering that the travel industry contributes $8.3 trillion to the global economy each year and has already established itself as a key player in the industry, it’s no wonder why the cofounders have had their eyes on this lucrative opportunity. Simply put, they want to become “the Amazon.com Inc. of the travel industry.” In their vision, travellers can plan an entire trip from start to finish with their platform, including airfare, lodging, and other services.
Already, Airbnb can be seen working towards this goal. In early 2019, they acquired HotelTonight, a niche service that will allow Airbnb to move closer onto the ‘hometurf’ of their traditional competitors. With all the changes that have occurred, they have certainly come a long way from pitching to investors using custom cereal boxes and going door-to-door taking photographs of hosts’ homes. However, if there has been anything to learn, it’s been that the most successful companies are the ones that never lose their startup passion.