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How is something no one has ever heard of worth $3.9b?

You've never heard of HomeAway? They and VRBO (which they own) are the 2nd and 3rd biggest players in the home sharing economy, after Airbnb.

The biggest if you actually value real earnings figures over hyped-up VC valuations.

Also worth pointing out that HomeAway only offers whole home rentals, they do not offer room-only (like Airbnb) so is not 100% part of the same 'sharing economy'.

FWIW, I've had consistently better experience with HomeAway/VRBO than with AirBnB

Same here. For things like vacation houses, VRBO has been much better. I feel that there is a lot of high-end inventory there. Plus, house owners are familiar with the site, so they stick with it, even if the experience is not great. There's untapped potential on VRBO.

I've quite literally never had a major problem with AirBnB, and I've used it 20 times over the last 3.5 years. With HomeAway / VRBO, the booking process is a nightmare, and I've had a cancelation with three days notice for a 15 person house booked two months in advance.

What did I do? I found a place on AirBnB and was able to book it no problem. So I have a hard time seeing how the HomeAway / VRBO experience could come even close.

Anyone who has been watching the sector knows who homeaway is.21 acquisitions, public under the AWAY symbol.. 5 rounds of funding including Google Ventures.

Weird, that's what my friend said about Minecraft.

A different answer: because someone was willing to pay $3.9b for it.

gee, thanks for all the downvotes.

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