It’s often remarked that the most successful entrepreneurs refuse to be deterred by rejection.
The story of Airbnb, the home-rental service now valued at a whopping $US25.5 billion, provides yet another example of why that trait is so important.
In 2008, the year Airbnb was founded, the company was looking to raise $US150,000 at a $US1.5 million valuation. The company approached seven prominent venture capital firms hat in hand, only to get a round of rejections, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky recounts in a Medium post.
Five of the seven investors passed on funding Airbnb while two simply never bothered to reply. The emailed rejection letters, which Chesky published (keeping the authors anonymous, of course), cited reasons such as the startup being outside the VC’s area of focus to a lack of enthusiasm for travel-related businesses.
One VC firm said that Airbnb’s potential market opportunity “did not seem large enough for our required model.”
Chesky noted that an investor who had ponied up $US150,000 back then could have acquired 10 per cent of the company. Did we mention that Airbnb is now worth $US25.5 billion?
“Next time you have an idea and it gets rejected, I want you to think of this email,” Chesky concludes.
Read the full post on Medium here.