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In 2007, two unemployed graduates, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky were out of cash. To make some quick money, they rented out air mattresses to three guests for the night in their SF apartment, as all the hotel rooms around town were booked. They offered the guests pop tarts for breakfast.
This gave them a breakthrough idea: Why not create a website that lets anyone rent their spare rooms for the night(or weekend) and provide a homely experience to tourists?
The company they formed in 2008, Airbnb, is now worth USD 75 billion.
Airbnb has millions of listings in thousands of cities across the globe. Its extraordinary, unprecedented success has led to rental hikes and decreased availability of to-let apartments to people wanting to live longer in the city.
As more and more hotels take note of this business model and try to replicate it, Airbnb, which is essentially a digital service provider, is moving into the property business itself in NYC. It faces regulation from many governments, but to date has managed to survive and thrive.
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