The Brief Story of How AirBnB Was Started : #StartLab


  • Two guys (Joe&Brian) in SanFranciso can’t pay rent.
  • They think to rent out 3 air mattresses on floor to people and serve breakfast.
  • They make a simple web (a blog with maps)
  • 2 men, 1 woman showed up, paying $80 each
  • After guests left they thought this could be a big idea
  • They invited former room mate (Nathan) as a co-founder to build site
  • Launched at SXSW- got two bookings
  • Went door to door in NYC and took photos of listed houses
  • Realized photos of places were not pretty
  • Were making $200 a week for months, not growing
  • Got $20 000 in first funding from Paul Graham’s Ycombinator.
  • Sold Obama O’s cereal before the election, for $40 each making First Money $30 000
  • Made $400 a week started to grow
  • Were rejected by a famous VC in NY (Fred Wilson)
  • Barry Manilow’s (famous singer) drummer rents an entire house
  • Raise $600,000 seed round from SequoiaRaised $7,2 mill, then $112 mill from many investors


  • 2014 = 10 Billion valuation


  • Their little idea is now valued at $25 Billion