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With 5m total bookings, Airbnb plans aggressive international expansion

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Airbnb’s latest milestone shows just how quickly the business is growing, as it topped 4 million total bookings over the past year, compared to the 1 million bookings it had wrapped up in all the years prior. That’s huge growth for a startup that’s just about five years old, and it shows the idea of apartment sharing and collaborative consumption in general is catching on.

Much of that growth is driven by an increasingly international user base, which is why Airbnb is investing heavily in facilitating adoption outside the U.S. The startup has more than 100,000 properties listed in 192 countries around the world. While the number of listings increased 166 percent over the year, the number of international listings grew to 70 percent of Airbnb’s database. More than 75 percent of all bookings included someone from abroad, whether they were international guests visiting the United States, or Airbnb users booking places to stay abroad.

As a result, Airbnb has been working hard on expanding internationally. In addition to its headquarters in San Francisco, the startup already has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, and London. But it plans for more offices around the world, including those in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, Moscow, Paris, and São Paulo. Airbnb has also expanded its customer support services to include 24-hour customer support in 16 different languages and adding seven toll-free numbers globally. The company now has employees in seven time zones around the world.

Airbnb has raised a total of about $120 million since being founded in 2008, including a $112 million round last summer led by Andreessen Horowitz.

3 Responses to “With 5m total bookings, Airbnb plans aggressive international expansion”

  1. Daniel, just enter in I hate airbnb to see many other people that have terrible experiences with the company, you can also have a look at tripadvisor. Most of the problems seem to stem from Airbnb offering 0 customer service and issues arising such as hosts not being available during the rental period when guests have a problem, for example being locked out in the middle of the night or toilets flooding. Airbnb are taking a huge commission for doing next to nothing, 12% to guests and 3% to hosts = 15%. Most local agencies offer a much higher level of service for 15% commission! Airbnb has received 120million in investment money, they are a very greedy bunch, they offer no service except advertising and they pay no local tax in anywhere except the US. You can rent peoples homes through many agencies as well as rental apartments, I would choose a small agency based in the place I was renting rather than Airbnb as I would rather not support a company that tries to disguise itself as being in support of a local community but pays no tax + offers no support if the rental goes wrong and does not have a clue about the place I have rented in. Another issue that comes to mind is what if I pay Airbnb for say 2 months rental and they transfer my cash to the host 3 days after the let starts then 2 weeks later the toilet floods and nobody fixes it, what do i do? Airbnb will not give me my money back and neither may the host, I may just have to put up with it, ok i can review the host but he or she can write a bad review about me too, fake or not.

  2. Great to see Brian and his team doing so well. This is great news for others startups in the peer-to-peer marketplace. They had a lot of bad press when one of their guests trashed a place but really 1 in 5 million is pretty darn good. I’d bet that beats the incident rate at Hyatt any day!

    My company ToolSpinner is also built on this P2P business model focused on power tool rentals.