Airbnb was founded in 2008 by roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. When the pair found that they were having trouble paying the rent on their expensive San Francisco apartment, they converted the living room into a “guest room” with three beds. They rented this space out to short term renters and offered a homemade breakfast as well.
Airbnb offers vacation rentals from private individuals who rent out rooms, entire houses, or guest houses. Both hosts and guests post pictures and offer feedback afterwards. This creative concept has been praised by many, however, it has seen a few problems, including a recent (May 2016) lawsuit brought about by a guest who says they were denied a reservation based on their race. A class action lawsuit was opened against Airbnb due to discrimation based on race in July 2017.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in earlly 2020, Airbnb has begun pushing their virtual “home classes”, where property owners can not only highlight their rentals for later in the year, but they also feature some type of class, such as Korean cooking, yoga, or learning to play guitar.
The company now lists rentals in more than 191 countries, 34,000 cities, and boasts more than 6 million guests.
Airbnb maintains a corporate office in San Francisco, California.