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As the disruption playbook says - a startup shouldn't try to compete head-to-head with the incumbent (market leaders) but target a specific under-served/less attractive portion of the market. Airbnb has dominated the lower end of the short term housing market and is now targeting the premium section.

Airbnb Readies a Premium Tier to Compete More With Hotels, Sources Say
  • Service will rely on inspectors to check homes for quality

  • Pilot program is designed to lure wealthier travelers
Airbnb Inc. is close to launching a new service that will match guests with quality-inspected home and apartment rentals. The product is intended to attract higher-paying travelers who have yet to use Airbnb because they prefer the amenities guaranteed by fancy hotels, said three people familiar with the project.

The service, expected to launch as a pilot with a select group of hosts as soon as this week, will send Airbnb inspectors into hosts’ homes to ensure they meet a checklist of quality standards designated by the company, said two of the people. If the homes pass the inspection they will be eligible for a featured section of Airbnb’s website and mobile apps, they added.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...ith-hotels
"AirBnB Luxe", in addition to "AirBnB Select"

Airbnb said to be planning new tier for luxury vacation rentals

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/technolo...on-rentals
Airbnb plans stock market splash in 2020

Anirban Sen
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 / 9:23 PM

(Reuters) - Home rental giant Airbnb said it plans to list its shares in 2020, making it one of the most high-profile names to tap the stock market next year.

In a short statement posted on its website on Thursday, Airbnb did not give any details on how it plans to list its shares, although it is widely expected to take a direct-listing route.

A direct listing to go public is a process in which no new shares are created and helps companies save millions of dollars in underwriting fees.

This year has marked the stock market debuts of several high-profile companies, including Uber and Lyft Inc, but their shares have fared poorly after the launch, amid investor skepticism over their path to profitability.

WeWork owner The We Company has also delayed its initial public offering, walking away from preparations to launch it this month after a lackluster response from investors.

Market experts though have said Airbnb might receive a warmer reception from investors when it debuts, considering that its financials looked more stable than recent internet unicorns that have gone public.

More details in https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbn...SKBN1W41Z7
The virus pandemic has probably burst the sharing economy's halo effect.

It has been a good 5-7 year run for all these New (sharing) Economies' companies and as the old saying goes that it will take a full bear market to fully baptise you (as an individual investor or a "New Economy" company). Personally, I feel whatever great moats/low marginal costs that is mooted on paper to justify high valuations, will probably be tempered by this "new risk" moving forward.

Airbnb lowers internal valuation to US$26b as coronavirus hits bookings: source

[SAN FRANCISCO] Airbnb lowered its internal valuation by 16 per cent to US$26 billion, as the US home rental firm grapples with a slowdown in bookings due to the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/...ngs-source
Airbnb's new US$1b investment comes at lower valuation: sources

[BENGALURU] Airbnb Inc's new US$1 billion investment from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners has terms that imply a reduced valuation of the home rental company, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Silver Lake and Sixth Street received warrants that can be exercised at an US$18 billion valuation, below the US$26 billion Airbnb was valued in early March in its internal valuation, one source said.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/...on-sources
Personally I think AirBnB, together with ride sharing, is one of the few sharing economy that makes sense, because there is ownership of the asset. Their timing for IPO was just off... if they did it end of 2019 or beginning 2020 would have been perfect

Maybe too greedy

(20-09-2019, 07:03 PM)cyclone Wrote: [ -> ]Airbnb plans stock market splash in 2020

Anirban Sen
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 / 9:23 PM

(Reuters) - Home rental giant Airbnb said it plans to list its shares in 2020, making it one of the most high-profile names to tap the stock market next year.

In a short statement posted on its website on Thursday, Airbnb did not give any details on how it plans to list its shares, although it is widely expected to take a direct-listing route.

A direct listing to go public is a process in which no new shares are created and helps companies save millions of dollars in underwriting fees.

This year has marked the stock market debuts of several high-profile companies, including Uber and Lyft Inc, but their shares have fared poorly after the launch, amid investor skepticism over their path to profitability.

WeWork owner The We Company has also delayed its initial public offering, walking away from preparations to launch it this month after a lackluster response from investors.

Market experts though have said Airbnb might receive a warmer reception from investors when it debuts, considering that its financials looked more stable than recent internet unicorns that have gone public.

More details in https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbn...SKBN1W41Z7