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A Summary of

Airbnb: The Disaster Artist

Mario Gabriele
The Generalist
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Origins of Airbnb

  • Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, classmates at RISD, launched 13 years ago
  • They recruited an old roommate, Nathan Blecharczyk, to help turn the idea into a business
  • A stunt selling politically-themed cereal in 2008 caught YCombinator founder Paul Graham's eye, and Airbnb was accepted into the incubator
  • You know how the rest of the story goes

Financial Overview

  • Airbnb's bold initial public offering in the midst of the pandemic has some investors excited and some terrified
  • The COVID-19 pandemic hit Airbnb harder than most companies
  • Gross booking value increased 29% ($29bn to $38bn) from 2018 to 2019, translating to respective revenue increases of $3.7bn and $4.8bn
  • 91% of traffic came from direct or unpaid channels, which means strong organic growth
  • 88% host revenue retention - strong position on the supply side

Market Environment

  • Airbnb includes an eye-popping figure in their S-1: $3.4 trillion, or what Airbnb estimates their TAM to be
  • Airbnb asserts that not only did they disrupt the hospitality and travel industry - they've expanded the market
  • The company is betting big on increased extended stays (akin to a sublease) and strong expansions in APAC and EMEA to support this TAM estimate
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