Starting a new tech business is never easy, especially when you’re competing with a tech giant.
Airbnb is expected to exceed 100 million guest arrivals in 2017, up from about 80 million in 2016, Recode reported. In less than 10 years, Airbnb transformed how people travel around the world.
About 25 percent of leisure travelers and 23 percent of business travelers are expected to book a stay on Airbnb at least once, up from 19 percent and 18 percent in 2016, according to Morgan Stanley Research. About 70 percent of room nights for the U.S. lodgings are business travelers.
When it comes to Google searches, Airbnb is approaching the same frequency as hotel and travel-booking brands such as Expedia and Marriott.
Still, Airbnb, valued at $31 billion, is just a fraction of the size of the hotel market — about 6 percent of the hotel industry’s room supply, 4 percent of demand and 7 percent of its revenue, according to commercial real estate services company CBRE. That’s up several points compared to a year ago. But there still seems to be plenty of room to grow.
Increased regulation could stifle Airbnb’s growth, especially in major cities where Airbnb hosts must register with the government. Airbnb is now seeing its biggest growth outside main cities in places like Fort Lauderdale and Sacramento, according to CBRE, Recode reported.
Ben Breit, spokesman for Airbnb Florida, said the company is implementing new practices to decrease discrimination:
Instant Book allows for “immediate booking” without approval for each guest, and the Open Doors policy lets guests notify Airbnb about discrimination. A representative will step in and help them find housing.
Airbnb hosts must commit to “treat everyone in the community with respect and without judgment or bias, regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age.” Violators will be banned.
Innclusive isn’t the only home-sharing site trying to reduce inequality, TampaBay.com reported. French startup Misterbnb provides travel options for the LGBTQI community, and raised $8.5 million in June from investors Project A and Ventech. Accomable helps find options for the disabled.
Innclusive has 100,000-plus subscribers and 200,0000 properties, mostly in the U.S. and Europe. It is uploading 12,000 new properties a day, said Kevin Pereira, the company’s chief product officer.
Since it started accepting bookings in May, the company earned $250,000-plus in revenues from rental stays and group travel trips.
This isn’t the first business for Innclusive team. Specializing in subscription-based businesses and tech software, the team has built six other businesses and sold two. Gilkes also owns the D.C.-based house cleaning service, Maids in Black, which earns $2.5 million a year.
Innclusive is looking for venture capital investors to help it compete in the global home-sharing community.