Timeline of Airbnb

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This is a timeline of Airbnb, a company that brokers private lodging rentals through its website.


YearMonth and dateEvent typeDetails
2007OctoberIdea creation Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia create the initial concept for AirBed & Breakfast during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America. [1] The original site offers short-term living quarters, breakfast and a unique business networking opportunity for attendees who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market. [2] Chesky and Gebbia themselves use Airbnb to help meet the rent for their loft in San Francisco. [3]
2008FebruaryTeam Harvard University graduate and technical architect Nathan Blecharczyk joins as the third co-founder of AirBed & Breakfast. [4]
2008August 11ProductThe Airbedandbreakfast.com website launches. [5]
2008August–NovemberFundingTo raise enough seed money to sustain their business, Airbnb sells cereal boxes for Barack Obama and John McCain. [6] They sell 800 boxes at $40 each, netting $30,000 in funding for the company. [7] Their most successful single sale event is the Democratic National Convention in August 2008. [8]
2009JanuaryFundingAirbnb is accepted into Y Combinator's Winter 2009 batch and receives $20,000 in funding. [9] [10] Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham says that even though he is not a fan of Airbnb's idea, he is impressed by their creative methods for bootstrapping their funding situation by selling cereal. [8] [11]
2009MarchProductThe website name is shortened from Airbedandbreakfast.com to Airbnb.com, and the site's content has expanded from air beds and shared spaces to a variety of properties including entire homes and apartments, private rooms, castles, boats, manors, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and other properties. [12]
2009MarchFundingAirbnb raises $585,000 from Sequoia Capital and $30,000 from Youniversity Ventures partners Jawed Karim, Keith Rabois, and Kevin Hartz in a seed round valuing the company at $2.4 million. [13] [14]
2010June 21TeamIn response to increasing overcrowding at his residence, that is doubling up as an Airbnb office, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky decides to move out of his apartment and live using Airbnb for a few months. [15]
2010NovemberFundingAirbnb receives $7.2 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital, and announces that out of 700,000 nights booked, 80% had occurred in the past six months. [16]
2011FebruaryUsage milestoneAirbnb announces its 1 millionth booking since the website launch in August 2008. [17] [18]
2011March 16–17FundingVenture capitalist Fred Wilson publishes a blog post saying that his firm's decision not to invest in Airbnb was a mistake. [19] The next day, Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham publishes (with permission) correspondence between himself and Fred Wilson about the possibility of Wilson investing in Airbnb. [20]
2011May 25EndorsementsActor and partner at A-Grade Investments, Ashton Kutcher, announces a significant investment in the company and his role as a strategic brand advisor for the company. [21]
2011May 31Acquisitions by Airbnb, international expansionAirbnb acquires Accoleo, a small German clone of its service, thereby expanding to Germany. [22] [23]
2011July 24FundingAirbnb raises $112 million in additional funding. The investment round is led by Andreessen Horowitz and other investors include DST Global Solutions and General Catalyst. [24] [25] [26]
2011OctoberFunding, controversyAn email allegedly written by Chamath Palihapitiya to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, that was critical of the manner in which Airbnb was structuring its funding round, is leaked to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. [27] [28] A follow-up reveals that new aspects of the deal are in development that might alleviate some of the concerns expressed by Palihapitiya, and he is reconsidering his decision not to invest in the funding round. He also expressed regret about the email being leaked, and he said that he was not responsible for the leak. [29] [30]
2011OctoberInternational expansionAirbnb opens up its second international office in London in the United Kingdom. [31]
2012JanuaryUsage milestoneAirbnb announces its 5 millionth booking. [32]
2012(early year)International expansionAirbnb opens six international offices, in the cities Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Moscow, and São Paulo. [33] These are in addition to existing offices in San Francisco, London, Hamburg, and Berlin where Airbnb maintains its international presence for the EMEA markets within a German incubator space. [34]
2012JuneUsage milestoneAirbnb announces its 10 millionth booking. [35]
2012July 25Acquisitions by Airbnb, international expansionShortly before the 2012 Summer Olympics Airbnb acquires London-based rival CrashPadder, subsequently adding six thousand international listings to its existing inventory. [36]
2012November 2International expansionAirbnb co-founder and CEO Chesky announces his focus on Australia, the second largest Airbnb market behind the United States, as well as Thailand and Indonesia. To support this effort, Airbnb opens its 11th office in Sydney. [37] The Australian consumer accounts for one-tenth of the Airbnb user base. [38]
2012November 12International expansionAirbnb announces its strategy to move more aggressively into the Asian market with the launch of their newest headquarters in Singapore. The company's goal is to acquire an additional 2 million properties within the continent. [39]
2012November 13Acquisitions by AirbnbAirbnb acquires NabeWise, a city guide that aggregates curated information for specified locations, in November 2012. [40] This acquisition shifts the company focus toward offering hyperlocal recommendations to travelers. [41]
2012December 13Acquisitions by AirbnbAirbnb announces the acquisition of Localmind. [42] Localmind is a location-based question and answer platform that allows users to post questions about specific locations online. These questions are then answered in real-time by experts on the specified territories. [43]
2013SeptemberInternational expansionAirbnb announces that European headquarters would be located in Dublin, Ireland. [44]
2014January 31PartnershipsAirbnb announces plans to partner with home cleaning services whereby the home cleaning service is available at a discount to those who are about to host people via Airbnb, in order to incentivize hosts to prepare homes well for guests and also give guests a more standardized experience. Prospective partners include Homejoy and Handybook. [45]
2014March 14CompanyAirbnb announces plans to open a new "operational headquarters" for North America in Portland, Oregon, in summer 2014, but indicated that its main North American headquarters would remain in San Francisco. [46]
2014April (unofficial rumors), August 1 (announcement in SEC filing)FundingIt is announced in April that Airbnb is getting an investment by TPG Capital at a valuation of approximately $10 billion. The amount of funding is variously reported as $450 million and $500 million. [47] [48] On August 1, the round is revealed to be a $475 million round. [49] [50]
2014July 16ProductAirbnb reveals design revisions to their site and mobile app, and introduced a new logo. [51] Some consider the new icon to be visually similar to genitalia, [52] but a consumer survey by Survata shows only a minority of respondents thought this was the case. [53]
2014July 21PartnershipsAirbnb announces that its home cleaning trial will be in three cities, and lists Handybook as its sole partner. Homejoy, which had earlier been listed as a partner, is dropped. [54]
2014July 28PartnershipsAirbnb announces a partnership with Concur, an expense reporting service for businesses, to make it easier for business travelers to report Airbnb stays as business expenses. [55]
2014September 17Financial/legalAirbnb announces that it will start collecting and remitting a 14% tax for short-term rentals in San Francisco starting October 1. [56]
2014October 23FundingAirbnb announces arrangements for an employee stock sale. Valuations for the sale are rumored at around $13 billion. [57] [58]
2014October 27Financial/legal San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signs a law making short-term rentals legal in San Francisco, thereby legalizing Airbnb. The law gets the moniker of "Airbnb law" because Airbnb is the most affected company. [59]
2014November 3Financial/legalVacation rental company HomeAway sues San Francisco for the Airbnb Law. [60] [61]
2014November 20ProductAirbnb expands its liability insurance program for hosts and landlords. Whereas the initial liability insurance program was limited to property damage due to the guest, the new program $1 million worth of protection in the case a guest is accidentally injured anywhere in a host's building or on their property during their stay. Rentals starting January 15, 2015 will automatically be covered under the new program. [62]
2015January 30Financial/legalAirbnb announces that it will start collecting taxes in Amsterdam, San Jose, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. [63]
2015February 25PartnershipsAirbnb announces a partnership with Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, to have its app pre-installed on mobile phones in 13 countries. Those who register for the service via DT will get 30 euros of vouchers to stay in Airbnb rooms. [64]
2015April 29Product, accessibilityAirbnb launches an official iPad app. [65]
2015June 4ProductAirbnb adds a pricing recommendation tool, called Price Tips, offering suggestions on appropriate prices for people renting our apartments. [66]
2015June 28FundingAirbnb closes $1.5 billion in additional funding, bringing its funding total to $2.3 billion. The valuation for the round is $25.5 billion. [67] Both the amount raised and the valuation are higher than those originally projected when rumors of the round originally circulated in late February/early March (when the numbers were $1 billion and $20 billion respectively). [68] [69]
2015August 25 (announcement), October 1 (start date)LegalAirbnb announces that it will start collecting a tourist tax on Airbnb rentals in Paris starting October 1. The tax amount will be 0.83 euros per night. [70]
2015September 3ProductAirbnb releases an app for the Apple Watch, whose main focus is to facilitate communication between guests and hosts. [71]
2015September 11Acquisitions by AirbnbAirbnb announces its acquisition of Vamo, a company based in Seattle whose product is a multi-city trip planning app. The app would be shut down as part of the acquisition; the purpose of the acquisition is to use the team's expertise to help with the aspects of the user experience related to travel beyond just booking an Airbnb. [72] [73]
2015November 4Financial/legal San Francisco voters vote No on Proposition F, a measure to restrict Airbnb rentals in the city. [74] In the run-up to the vote, Airbnb spent over $8 million in advertising to the public against the measure, whereas groups supporting Proposition F spent less than a million dollars. [75] As part of its advertising campaign, Airbnb put out ads highlighting the role that the $12 million in taxes paid by it has played in funding city operations, but the ads are perceived by many as tasteless, so the company withdraws them and apologizes. [76]
2015November 12Product, partnershipsAirbnb announces a new "Business Travel Ready" badge and host tools. [77]
2016JuneLegalAirbnb sues the city of San Francisco over a new law that would require Airbnb to verify that their hosts are registered with the city. [78] [79]
2016JulyFundingAirbnb is reported to be raising $850 million at a $30 billion valuation. [80]
2016AugustThe city of Barcelona cracks down on homes that are illegally rented out to tourists, including houses listed on Airbnb. In addition, Barcelona's town hall announces that it would fine Airbnb and HomeAway (a similar service). [81]
2016SeptemberAcquisitionAirbnb acquires the travel startup Trip4real. [82]
2016SeptemberProductAirbnb launches their "Friendly Buildings Program", which lets landlords and homeowners associations collaborate with Airbnb to create hosting rules, update leases and agreements to allow home-sharing, and to share portions of their tenants' reservation income. [83]
2016OctoberCompetitionTwo Airbnb rivals, Wimdu and 9flats, consolidate in a merger. [84]
2016OctoberLegalAirbnb sues New York City over a new legislation that would make it illegal for Airbnb to display housing units that cannot be rented legally, and would also allow fines of up to $7,500 on hosts who rent out housing illegally. In its suit, Airbnb argues that the liability for rental listings belongs to the hosts who post them. [85] [86] [87] [88]
2016NovemberProductAirbnb launches the "experiences" feature in the Airbnb app. This feature allows hosts to offer tours and events in addition to places to stay. [89]
2016December 2LegalAirbnb settles the lawsuit it filed against New York City. Airbnb agrees to drop the suit as long as the city fines only the hosts and not Airbnb. [90]
2017January 28Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweets that the company will give free housing to refugees and any others not allowed into the United States as a result of President Trump's executive order to temporarily ban refugees from the United States. [91] [92]
2017February 16AcquisitionAirbnb acquires Luxury Retreats, an Airbnb-like service for high-end homes and premium vacation homes. The deal is reported to be $200–$300 million. As of the time of the deal, it is Airbnb's largest acquisition. [93] [94]
2017FebruaryAcquisitionAirbnb acquires Tilt, a social payment startup. [95] [96] [97] [98]
2017November 13AcquisitionAirbnb acquires AdBasis, advertising technology platform built for A/B testing and Multivariate ad testing. [99]
2017November 16AcquisitionAirbnb acquires Accomable, a startup focused on travel accessibility. [100] [101]
2017November 28ProductAirbnb began allowing users to split payments with up to 16 other travelers. [95] [96] [97] [98]
2017DecemberProductFollowing a cash infusion from Brookfield Property Partners, Airbnb announces their "Niido" line of apartment buildings designed for tenants to rent out their units for up to 180 days per year on Airbnb, in conjunction with their landlords. Two Niido properties opened the following year in Nashville, Tennessee and Kissimmee, Florida. [102]
2018FebruaryProductBrian Chesky revealed the company's intention to launch an airline. [103]
2018FebruaryProductAirbnb announced Airbnb Plus, a collection of homes that have been vetted for quality of services, comfort and design, [104] as well as Beyond by Airbnb, which will offer luxury vacation rentals. [105]
2019JanuaryAcquisitionAirbnb acquires Gaest, an Aarhus, Denmark-based startup, which provides a platform for posting and booking venues for meetings and other events. [106]
2019MarchAcquisitionAirbnb acquires HotelTonight, a website for booking last-minute hotel rooms, for over $400 million. [107] [108]
2019JuneProductAirbnb announces their "Natiivo" line of condo hotels, which feature amenities such as 24-hour concierge, valet parking, co-working spaces, and other amenities. The first two Natiivo locations are planned for Austin, Texas and Miami, Florida. [109]
2020AugustIPOAirbnb announces it has confidentially filed for an initial public offering. [110]
2020NovemberIPOAirbnb files its public S-1 IPO filing. [111]

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