Monday 27 February 2017

Airbnb under pressure as backlash grows around the world

Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

Airbnb likes to showcase its hipster apartments, like this one in Tokyo. Photo: David Elliot
Airbnb likes to showcase its hipster apartments, like this one in Tokyo. Photo: David Elliot

Airbnb started nine years ago as an ingenious online meeting place, enabling homeowners to rent out rooms to holidaymakers and other visitors.

Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, then both 27, came up with the idea when they were struggling to pay their rent in San Francisco.

There was a design conference coming to the city, and all the hotels were fully booked, so they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor. The next day they created a website under its more cumbersome title, airbedandbreakfast.com.

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