Airbnb is an online hospitality service that connects people looking for a place to stay in almost any part of the world, with home and apartment owners who make their places available for money as a temporary rental. The company started operating in 2008 when Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nate Blecharczyk published the department of one of them in San Francisco for online rental.
Until now, Airbnb has remained a private company, but in 2019 plans to go public were announced, entering the group of so-called “unicorns”, that is companies valued at $ 1 billion before going public. The announcement came after reporting revenues of $ 1 billion in the second quarter of 2019, and after totaling $ 2.6 billion in all of 2018, when it showed significant growth since its inception. It has 13,000 employees and 31 offices worldwide.
In 2018, launched the Airbnb Plus category, which offers more exclusive, hotel-like, high-quality venues for those who prefer not to share a home. These have been certified by the company. In March 2019, Airbnb completed the acquisition of HotelTonight, an app for booking discounted hotels in America, Europe, and Australia.
Airbnb’s main source of income is the hospitality service with online reservations. The business model involves two customer segments: the hosts, who offer an exclusive or shared home or room, and the travelers, people looking for accommodation for their trips.
Its listing offers more than 7 million locations in more than 100,000 cities in 220 countries and regions. On average, 2 million travelers stay at an Airbnb-managed spot every night.
Using the same concept as in the lodging business and following the strategy of gathering people, places, and experiences, the company offers a catalog of tourist and cultural activities organized by local people in categories such as Kitchen, Animals, and Adventure. Also, in 2018 launched Airbnb Concerts, which includes shows by local artists in exclusive venues for audiences of 100 people maximum.
Booking.com is a metasearch engine and online service for travel and related services that was born in Amsterdam in 1996 as a small start-up. Today, it is part of Booking Holdings, which integrates six brands to offers a wide range of tourism services. Some of its brands are Kayak, Priceline and Rentalcars.com. The group has developed all kinds of technologies to facilitate traveling and tourism, connecting millions of people with different transportation and accommodation alternatives.
With almost 26,400 employees, Booking Holdings is the leading company in its field and the main competitor of Airbnb, with annual revenues of $ 15 billion (2019). It operates in 230 countries and is available in 43 languages. The company’s main business is the reservation of travel services. Its catalog offers 28 million accommodations, including 6.2 million houses, apartments, and other places.
HomeToGo is an independent company that offers an online search engine service for temporary stays. It was founded in 2014 by Wolfgang Heigl, Patrick Andrae and Nils Regge in Germany and with only 150 employees, is valued at $ 150 million. It is considered the largest search engine for the vacation accommodation category in the world. It owns the platform Casamundo, and in 2018, announced the purchase of Tripping.com, its main competitor in the United States.
HomeToGo operates local websites in 13 countries in Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and Russia. Its catalog offers more than 11 million lodgings in 200 countries and works with 300 partners around the world. One of its main advantages is that it includes intuitive features such as flexible dates, the adaptation of rates according to the chosen destination, dates, budget and desired amenities.
VaCasa is an online platform for the administration of vacation home rentals, which was created by Eric Breon in Oregon, United States, after taking responsibility for managing his family’s vacation home and having difficulty finding an efficient manager. Today, it is a comprehensive rental management company in North America that employs 6,000 people and works with 2 million guests a year in 18 countries. His listing has more than 26,000 houses published and generates $2 billion of revenue a year.
Its competitive advantage is to offer rental facilities and allowing to obtain the best income from the rental of homes, 24-hour service and a guarantee of trust. The platform makes data-driven recommendations and has the ability to display the space as it is using even 3D video.
FlipKey is the home rental service that was founded by the American Jeremiah Gall and acquired by TripAdvisor two years later and today, it is part of the “Rentals” segment of the online tourism platform. Its catalog includes more than 830,000 properties in 190 countries and offers spaces such as beach houses, private islands, ski chalets, and city-center studios, just to mention some.
Through FlipKey, TripAdvisor Rentals seeks to connect the owners of the places with the 465 million travelers that use its services. Also, it offers entertainment, attractions, experiences, and restaurants. TripAdvisor has almost 3,366 employees, where 50 are dedicated to the FlipKey operation, which in 2018 reached revenues of $ 1.62 billion.
HomeAway is the online platform for alternative accommodations that was launched in the United States in 2005 and ten years later became part of the Expedia group, which also owns one of its competitors, VRBO. This division operates 55 sites located worldwide and many regional brands. It also offers software solutions for property managers.
The group has 24,000 employees and in 2018 generated $ 11.2 billion revenues, where $ 1.1 billion was generated by the alternative accommodations division. The business model is mixed, between paid ads from homeowners and some pay-per-booking, similar to Airbnb. HomeAway has 1.8 million online bookable listings available.
EAST WEST HOSPITALITY
East West Hospitality was founded in Beaver Creek, Colorado in 1986 to manage the properties of its sister company, East West Partners. Currently, it has 1,000 employees and generates annual revenues of $ 480 million.
Its listing of rental properties includes condominiums, hotels, luxury homes, resort spas, member clubs, timeshare and commercial spaces located in Beaver Creek, Vail, Snowmass and Denver (Colorado), Lake Tahoe (California), Mauna Kea (Hawaii), Charleston (South Carolina) and Park City (Utah). Also, it manages more than 85 homeowner associations and assets that equal the sum of $ 2 billion.
HouseTrip is the online rental service for holiday villas, apartments, cottages and vacation spots that was born as a start-up created by Arnaud Bertrand and Junjun Chen in London, the UK in 2009. A year later, it got the support of TripAdvisor, which gave it the necessary expertise to become a company with 160 employees that generates $ 30 million in annual revenues and is constantly growing.
HouseTrip’s catalog includes 400,000 vacation homes in 160 countries around the world, making it easy for travelers to find their ideal location. Thanks to being part of the TripAdvisor group, its properties are exhibited on 25 websites and viewed by 340 million users every month.
WeNeedaVacation.com is an independent enterprise that seeks to unite vacationers with homeowners economically and efficiently. It was created in 1997 by Joan and Jeff Talmadge in the United States with only 100 properties for rent. Today, its catalog includes 4,000 locations on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It has close to 100 employees and its annual revenues reach $ 17 million.
The brand is differentiated by its friendly website, which is locally operated. Also, it allows users to easily find the properties that meet their requirements, with the possibility of filtering according to price, size, amenities and available dates. Search criteria can be stored and reused at another time to continue the process. In addition, the site offers all kinds of recommendations and useful information about the place of visit and the activities that can be carried out there.
VaycayHero is a United States vacation rental service with headquarters in San Francisco, which was born as the Zaranga start-up in 2011 and acquired by RedAwning.com in 2017. The company has more than 100,000 properties in 10,000 destinations around the world. Its revenues reach $ 4 million a year, with its nearly 21 employees.
All the places that are part of its catalog are verified and their prices are updated dynamically and automatically, so there are no bad surprises for users. In addition, it has developed its own tools for rent management.
VayStays is an independent online luxury vacation home reservation and rental service that was created in the United States by Christopher Brusznicki and Geoff Polk, with headquarters in Chicago. It functions as a property management platform that was originated when its founders bought the first vacation rental home in South Bend, Indiana. Later, they launched a website that today generates revenues of $ 2 million and employs 32 people.
The VayStays listing includes 20,000 places to rent in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and the US. Its differential is in offering premium spaces of the highest quality and style. In addition, it allows to make the reservation immediately with a credit card and offers a guarantee in case of obtaining a poor service or a bad experience in the chosen place.
The top 10 Airbnb competitors are: Booking.com, HomeToGo, VaCasa, FlipKey, HomeAway, EastWest Hospitality, HouseTrip, WeNeedAVacation.com, VacayHero and VayStays. Together they have raised over $ 20.7 B between their estimated 58 K employees. Airbnb has 13,000 employees and is ranked 2nd among it’s top 10 competitors. The top 10 competitors average 5,790.
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Darrell Burges - Business Analyst & Technical Writer
Darrell Burges is a skilled business analyst and a technical writer for WCS. Based on his 5+ years of experience, he writes in-depth articles about competing companies and encourages individuals to explore alternatives in the business world. He is the one who knows how to engage you in the world of competitors and explain complex concepts in simple terms.