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The Airbnb Founder Story: From Selling Cereals To A $25B Company


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The inspiring story of how 3 young men went from selling cereals to fund their failing business idea to a $25B company that is Airbnb.

Find out the end of the story at the original blog post at:

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The Airbnb Founder Story: From Selling Cereals To A $25B Company

  1. 1. The Airbnb Founder Story: From Selling Cereals To A $25B Company
  2. 2. Started late 2007 in San Francisco. • No investors • Thousands of $$ in credit card debt • No employment • Needed a way to earn extra cash Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia just moved from New York
  3. 3. At the local Industrial Design Conference, they noticed that… • Bought some air mattresses • Created a website called Airbnb&Breakfast So they… • All the hotels were booked • People were looking for a place to sleep Their first guests… • A 30-year-old Indian man • 35-year-old woman from Boston • 45-year-old father of four from Utah
  4. 4. Their third co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk joined, but… • Only two users, one of them was Chesky • Launched at SXSW & received only 2 bookings So they changed the website and launched again in 2008
  5. 5. This was the general opinion about Airbnb at the time:
  6. 6. They made cereal to fund the Airbnb project • They managed to raise $30,000 selling Cap’N McCain’s and Obama O’s
  7. 7. Airbnb receives first funding They close a $20,000 round • Only making $200/week, use money to go to New York and meet users • Discover that pictures for the listings aren’t good • Buy a camera and go door-to-door themselves to take better pictures 2009 - Paul Graham at Y Combinator tries to convince venture capitalist Fred Wilson to invest in Airbnb. • Fred Wilson rejects the proposal. Find the link to the actual email conversation on this original blog post.
  8. 8. Airbnb finally starts taking off Find out the end of the story and where they are now at the original blog post…