Airbnb: Business Model Canvas and a History of Hotel Industry

Way before Airbnb convinced homeowners to open their homes up for strangers, it was just an idea by two struggling gentlemen who needed to make rent. The success of Airbnb is a modern-day feel-good story that shows how a simple concept executed well can make anyone a millionaire.

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has grown immensely, catering to over 750 million travelers worldwide. With over 150 million users recorded, it is considered one of the highest-valued start-ups in the global sharing economy, surpassing Hilton Hotel revenues in 2018.

As of 2019, estimates showed that Airbnb accounted for 20% of the whole vacation rental industry. In 2020 Airbnb’s total revenue was in the $20 billion range. The success is undeniable; however, it was not smooth sailing for the company at the beginning. There were a lot of false starts, rejection, and some business model flaws.

Despite these issues, Airbnb has become one of the leading urban rental platforms in the world. Here’s how the company founders managed to turn a ‘rent-an-air-mattress’ idea into a billion-dollar company.

Airbnb: Business Model Canvas and a History of Hotel Industry

Evolution of Airbnb’s Business Model Canvas

Big companies rarely end up with the same business model as when they’d started. We’ve split the article into parts for your convenience:

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