Key questions facing Airbnb ahead of its IPO
Airbnb's IPO marks a milestone in the travel industry and consumer internet as a whole. By redefining traveler expectations and establishing a new type of lodging, Airbnb built the second-most valuable travel company in the world in just a decade. Its example as a "sharing economy" company catalyzed a generation of venture-backed companies.
Now, as public market investors consider investing in Airbnb, we want to share observations on key questions facing the company.
Who are today's Airbnb hosts?
While the precise alchemy of Airbnb's brand is a mystery, Airbnb's supply and its host community is surely a huge ingredient.
Airbnb defined the "sharing economy." Airbnb taught travelers how a transgression - going into a stranger's house - could unlock an amazing experience. Instead of settling for a cookie-cutter hotel in a sterile tourist district, travelers could experience real life in any neighborhood, guided by welcoming local hosts.