It’s hard to believe that a name we all use as part of our day-to-day vocabulary is only a decade old. Yes, Airbnb launched in 2008 under the name ‘Airbedandbreakfast.com’ – not quite as catchy as their current brand…
The idea for the platform that has now become the ‘posterchild’ of the sharing economy had come about the year before, when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia moved from New York to San Francisco.
Cash strapped but full of ideas, they bought some airbeds and listed on Airbedandbreakfast.com, offering visitors to the city a place to get some shut-eye and breakfast when all the local hotels were full. So who were the first Airbnb guests? A 30-year-old Indian man, a 35-year-old woman from Boston and a 45-year-old father of four from Utah.
Fast forward 10 years and the company now lists five million homes all around the globe. And over that decade, Airbnb has had over 300 million guest check-ins in 81,000 cities and 191 countries. Not a bad return for an initial outlay of a few inflatable beds.
A real experience
In 2016, Airbnb introduced bookable experiences – and now has over 15,000 people sharing experiences with Airbnb guests in more than 800 cities; from a vegan cookery class in London to Tango dancing in Argentina.
And the amazing thing about Airbnb is it’s not just regular houses that people can stay in – there are hobbit houses, Harry Potter houses… you can even stay in a celebrity’s pad. In fact, on the site you’ll find:
- 10,449 RVs2
- 194 yurts
- 1,403 islands
- 8,951 tiny houses
- 9,000 boats
- 2,194 treehouses
- 183 igloos
- 918 tipis
- 155 windmills
- 758 caves
Protecting you when you host
We’re celebrating at GUARDHOG HQ as it’s platforms like Airbnb that inspired our very special insurance. Because most platform guarantees do not replace your insurance policy, and at best will only cover damage directly attributable to the guest, this creates ‘grey areas’.
Your existing insurer is likely to suspend or restrict cover, and even if they say it’s OK, this doesn’t mean you have the extra cover needed for the new risks. With our Host Cover, there’s no need to replace your existing insurance and we protect you when accidents happen. So happy birthday Airbnb… and happy hosting!