Social Commerce

The Sharing Economy Gets a Poster Child Valued at $1.3bn

Here’s some more evidence that the sharing economy is becoming a significant trend in social commerce. AirBnB, the user-review-powered P2P marketplace that allows people to share their homes with travellers around the globe has just joined the billion dollar valuation club, following a new $112m round of investment and valuing the 36 month old startup at $1.3bn.

With 2m bookings in 16,701 locations across 186 countries, a neat escrow system to take the anxiety out of private B&B bookings, and a domestic lodging market worth $125bn, AirBnB is looking to expand through Europe and Brazil.  Why on Earth eBay or big travel brands didn’t give birth to AirBnB is a mystery. Elephants can’t dance and all that – which is good news for social commerce startups. Checkout the GigaOM video with AirBnB CEO Brian Chesky embedded below.

So here’s a brainstorming question.  What would be the AirBnB of your industry? If it’s going to come, you might as well own it.


Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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