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Airbnb bags $112 million in Series B From Andreessen, DST And General Catalyst (techcrunch.com)
135 points by guynamedloren on July 25, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

I recently went to an office warming party at Airbnb's new place. My first thought when I walked out of the elevator was "this company is going public." A lot of startups, even quite big ones, hope/expect in the backs of their minds that one day they'll end up being acquired. But Airbnb has palpably settled in for the long haul, and you can sense it. And that is a big source of power for them.

Can you help us understand why/how you sensed it. What are the factors which influenced this remarks. I am sure others will get benifitted too. More over I would also like to know how can/will they handle bad publicity like some one using airbnb for wrong illigal stuff like prostitution.

why am i getting down voted? I am just curious to know how they will handle this situation?

There are built in feedback mechanisms to encourage responsible behavior from both parties which makes it less likely that someone would use AirBnB to commit "illegal" acts (not entirely illegal in all markets). You're being down voted because here's why it doesn't make sense to use it for prostitution:

- Many AirBnB listings are shared spaces so you're getting a spare bedroom or a couch/futon so the privacy factor is not there.

- You have a traceable identity on AirBnB so if it was illegal, you would be leaving a trail of evidence pointing to you.

- Your host would most likely ask you to leave and then you would get banned from the site or get a really negative review which would prevent you from using the service again.

Mostly, it's just not something that is going to be common enough to be a big problem and like I mentioned, there are built in feedback mechanisms to discourage bad behavior.

You dont have to down vote sombody if he had asked a silly question. You could juzz explain it the way you did.

Assumption made here is people will report and provide review comments. if they (who want to do illigal stuff) select places to get one room and behave normally and decently in public, nobody will ever report anything. I am not saying it will be a widespread practice, but all it takes is one dead fish to dirt the pond.

And nobody answered the first part of my question. ie the factors that promted or inspired PG to make that remark when he visited them.

My best guess for where the $112 million is going is not for cashing out but for rapidly expanding abroad where they're seeing clones rise quickly and gain traction (Wimdu, 9flats). I expect to see a few small acquisitions to build out more inventory in Asia (East Asia + Australia) and probably South America. Congrats to the team on their success over the last year, I recommend AirBnB to my friends all the time.

The do have legitimate competition abroad and they just purchased Accoleo to get a physical presence in Europe.

Additionally, expansion in the U.S. is going to come at a higher cost as they battle for the lucrative vacation rental market with other well-funded companies like VRBO.

Airbnb is really interesting because their relatively agnostic platform can hit a huge market - couches, single rooms, apartments, houses, boats, independent hotels, etc., along with a lot of international markets to play in, whereas competition has generally been more focused on satisfying a specific segment.

I'll be very curious to see how this company's next series of strategic decisions play out, given this very nice Series B.

Congratulations guys. Airbnb saved our weary butts when a plane delay stranded us in Paris last month. There were no hotels or hostels left at the time, but Airbnb found us a cracking apartment right on the Seine a block away from the Eiffel Tower! So all the best for the next phase - well deserved.

Does anyone know if the founders put some cash in their pockets off of this?

That seems to be the trend with large scale investment from DST, from what I've seen.

Great news for the service. I've used it a couple of times (both domestically and abroad) and have an upcoming trip abroad planned with them.

Execution in this realm is key. It has both users and hosts motivated and engaged. The recommendation system allows for visible feedback both on the places and the people looking for places, and for me, this is key.

I won't book a place that doesn't have existing good feedback. In my last international trip, I skipped a more convenient venue that had no comments and the host indicated "if anyone asks, you are a friend" for a couple that had an established good track record a bit farther away. The additional information is very helpful.

I hope the guys prosper.

Despite the good feedback system there's still a bit of a psychological barrier for a lot of people when it comes to the main premise of the company--because as you eluded to in your comment, there are some sketchy accommodations in the world and I'm very interested in seeing how with this new money the guys will attempt to combat that issue and why it wasn't a slight hitch in the investment process--as you said the additional information is helpful but for a 1 billion dollar company, I don't think it's useful enough to escape generations of non-altruistic living where we trust no one and sleep with one eye open. They deserve everything they've gotten, and they're certainly going to earn their money when tackling this specific problem.

Awesome news for an awesome company! Congrats guys!

This is fantastic! I absolutely love AirBNB's story because it shows that good things can come to those who persist against all odds.

What happened to them getting banned in NYC?

I thought that short-term sub-lets were exempt from the bill in question while the resident is present (which is the case in most Airbnb lets).

Now they can afford to lobby against it?


"bags" makes funding sound like revenue. It's not.

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