Airbnb, the marketplace for overnight bookings of unique spaces around the world, has just announced Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners for $7.2 million.Sequoia was the company’s seed investor with $600,000. As for Greylock, “We wanted an investor that could really bring value to our business; someone who was an entrepreneur,” says Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia. “We really admired Reid Hoffmann, so he was on our shortlist of possible investors. He had already heard about us and was really excited about the product.”
To date, more than 700,000 nights have been booked on Airbnb in more than 8,000 cities.
Airbnb will use their millions to continue global expansion, hire staff, make translated versions (they are already available in seven languages), and create multiple payment options to suit any lister or booker, no matter what country they’re in.
Airbnb is also releasing an instant booking feature, a collections feature, and an iPhone app. The App can pull up a person’s location and suggest nearby, immediately available rentals on the fly. It can even suggest approximate overnight rates to listers, guesstimating how much they’d make with a 2-week rental based on location and quality of the space.
Think the idea of staying with a total stranger is creepy? The founders use their own service and claim they’ve smoothed out most of those kinks. Co-founder Brian Chesky has turned himself into a nomad, living from listing to listing every day since July. He was still around to tell us his tale this afternoon.
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