120 posts and columns on Airbnb
News Bytewill help potential and current drivers finance cars from General Motors and Toyota in six of its 60 cities worldwide. The company says it has secured lower financing rates than the market standard, due to the near-guarantee of revenue generated via its ride-hailing service. It’s not exactly the same thing, but Airbnb also said recently that it plans to help its hosts buy smartphones so they can better manage their listings.
Airbnb is primarily additive. I don’t think it’s stealing much share from urban hotels. I think it’s serving people who didn’t travel because they were scared, or couldn’t afford it, or use it because it’s an antidote to loneliness. A room in someone’s house is not as valuable as a room at the Helmsley.
IAC’s Barry Diller, whose portfolio includes both Expedia and Match.com, talking to Bloomberg Businessweek
News Byteresponded today to what could be one of the more serious regulatory threats to its business so far: The New York State attorney general subpoenaing user data in an attempt to root out illegal hosts. The company filed a motion in the New York State Supreme Court objecting to the broadness of the demands, it said. The good thing for Airbnb is that protecting user data is pretty trendy right now.
News Bytegot itself and one of its hosts out of a legal jam in New York City, but late on Friday the company was subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in an effort to obtain user data that might indicate illegal rental activity. “[T]his demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we’ve got,” the company said. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky had tried to fend off regulators in advance with a blog post last week, but he did not make any major concessions. The company said it has 15,000 hosts in the city, and 225,000 members.