Airbnb is quickly becoming "the" startup darling to watch, thanks to recent press coverage about its efforts to raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation. I recently caught up with Brian Chesky, the San Francisco-based startup's confidant founder and CEO. In this interview, we talk mainly about Airbnb's business model, which has been the same since day one. Airbnb takes a 6% to 12% broker fee (on aveage 10%) on the rental charges. The more a person spends, the lower the fee. Brian says the average rental is between $70 to $200. The average reservation is a little under a week, said Brian. Already, the company has booked 1.5 million nights of reservations.
Brian wouldn't say how much the company is generating at the moment, but he did say the company is growing at 30% to 50% a month. The startup is "adding close to 1000 new homes and listings every single day," said Brian. "At that rate, by the end of the year, we could be within the next 12 months, the largest site on the Internet to find places to stay."
We also talk about the company's valuation proposition to consumers and how Airbnb competes with Home Away, which owns VRBO, and Craigslist.
(See our last interview, in which Brian talks about Airbnb's rapid growth.)