I mentioned Airbnb.com in a previous post and named them as one of the shining starts of the Collaborative Economy having received about $120m in VC funding to scale-up their operations according to Altimeter Research.
For those that haven’t see Airbnb.com yet, it provides a marketplace for home owners to rent out their spare rooms to travelers that would prefer to stay in someones home, have a home cooked breakfast and learn about a new City from a local that actually lives there rather than a homogenized, characterless hotel chain.
Founded in 2007, the founders began by renting air mattresses as substitute beds in their apartment when big trade fairs and exhibitions came to Town and literally swamped the city’s hotels.
As well as earning some much needed income, they realised that there was a genuine and thriving demand for “places to stay where the hospitality was genuine and the M&Ms didn’t cost $6. In staying this way, their guests also gained insight into the city from a fresh, local perspective, making for a truly authentic and memorable experience”.
They now have hundreds of thousands of beds listed on the site in a bewildering number of locations and types from huts on remote islands, to yurts to castles to humble spare rooms.
You can read more here