The Sharing Economy: Hospitality

“Airbnb is the worst idea that ever worked,” said Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, at a recent PwC Corporate Leadership event. When Chesky hatched the hospitality startup, enabling everyday homeowners and renters to rent out a spare room, it was so new that to assess the potential market size, he figured out the number of airbeds sold each year and used that as an estimate. Today, Airbnb is reportedly valued at $13 billion, more than mature players such as Hyatt or Wyndham Worldwide. The company booked stays for 20 million travelers in 2014, operating with about 1,500 employees in 20 cities worldwide5 . It has helped pioneer a market that is radically changing consumer hospitality preferences and behaviors.

Proprly is a cleaning and key delivery service for Airbnb hosts. Guesthop provides support services for home sharers — from check-ins, key management and cleanings to full time, short-term rental management. Pillow handles all the details of hosting, including marketing, guest communications, booking and pricing optimization, cleaning, repairs and any troubleshooting. These ancillary services are designed to capitalize on the growing popularity of hospitality sharing sites. Airbnb, for instance, now has 10 million bookings and is used by more than 50,000 renters per night. But they are also helping to close critical gaps in the sharing hospitality industry — namely, the issues of friction and trust.