They struggled with their business for a long time, time to rent out student flats for the summer.
They eventually pivoted for a while and took on money to be the 'corporate' AirBnB, i.e. pro managed residences, with th e promise to investors of lower operating costs than the Marriott etc..
However, it remains to be seen if there is any reality to this.
The Uber strategy of 'run at a loss until you take over the world' has some merit, because there are critical mass and market dominance aspects.
But with hotels, not really, there are always substitutes, one player is tiny in the grand scheme.
So either it can operate more efficienty and book the rooms or not.
But in the meantime, it's not hard to actually generate revenue by leasing and renting out properties, however well or poorly you do it - which makes it look like something big 'on paper' if you don't look at all the fine print!
You can 'show growth' by just operating and write off the losses by pointing to 'market dominance strategy'.
This story will play out on their ability to turn it into something efficient or not.
As someone looking for alternatives to AirBnB, I welcome Sonder as competition. Although I'm not happy that they advertise "40% off 14+ nights" but only honor that in select cities (example: Miami is only 30%)
What they are doing is actually directly operating a ton of rooms, you have to do that in order to get to a certain standard.
They are actually closer to a hotel operator than to AirBnB.
How about AirBnB building on top of Craigslist?
i am sick of seeing people fawn over people striving, and succeeding, at being capitalists.
A better question might be why is it on HN? TBH, I'm actually more surprised that this is a billion dollar business, as far as I can tell, built on top of AirBnB. Why this one business over all the other companies that are managing multiple units on AirBnB?
Just like I don't look for something to eat in a latrine.