A unicorn apart: Among private tech firms, Airbnb has pursued a distinct strategy | The Economist

UNTIL recently “Uber envy” afflicted many top executives at Airbnb, a platform for booking overnight stays in other people’s homes. So admits a big investor in the firm. The two companies often raised money at the same time, and the ride-hailing giant reliably received more cash and closer attention.

Uber is America’s most valuable private technology firm, with a valuation of close to $70bn at last count; Airbnb is still in second place with a value of around $30bn. But with Uber facing a series of setbacks, including allegations of intellectual-property theft, departures by senior executives and a consumer boycott, jealousy in Airbnb’s hallways has largely evaporated.

It helps that the firm is on a tear. Last year 80m people booked stays on Airbnb, double the number in 2015 (see chart).

AirBnb

Read more: A unicorn apart: Among private tech firms, Airbnb has pursued a distinct strategy | The Economist

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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A unicorn apart: Among private tech firms, Airbnb has pursued a distin…

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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