Success Crafted

From Air Mattresses to Billion Dollar IPO: The Remarkable Rise of Airbnb

The rise of Airbnb over the past decade has been a remarkable story of entrepreneurial success, fueled by innovation, hard work and a bit of luck. In this article, we will explore the history of Airbnb, focusing on its co-founders, its unique ideas, and its rapid growth into a global phenomenon.

Co-Founders of Airbnb

Airbnb was founded in 2008 by three roommates, Brian Chesky, Joseph Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. All three of them were in their late twenties at the time and were struggling to pay their rent in San Francisco.

They decided to rent out air mattresses in their living room to people attending a conference who needed a place to stay. This marked the beginning of one of the most successful startups of all time.

Brian Chesky is the current CEO of Airbnb. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design.

Before founding Airbnb, Chesky worked as a designer for a number of companies including 3DID and Core 77. Chesky has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts as well, including establishing the Airbnb Emergency Response program to help people during times of disaster.

Joseph Gebbia, one of the co-founders of Airbnb, is a designer and entrepreneur. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2005 and later went on to receive his Master of Industrial Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Before co-founding Airbnb, Gebbia worked as a designer for a number of technology and advertising companies including Chronicle Books and Saatchi & Saatchi. Nathan Blecharczyk is the third co-founder of Airbnb and is currently the chairman of Airbnb China.

He graduated from Harvard University in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science. Before co-founding Airbnb, Blecharczyk worked as a software engineer for a number of tech companies including Microsoft and OPNET Technologies.

He is also currently the Chief Technology Officer of Airbnb.

History of Airbnb

Establishment of Airbnb

In 2007, the Industrial Designers Society of America conference was taking place in San Francisco. Chesky and Gebbia were struggling to pay their rent and came up with the idea of renting out air mattresses in their living room to conference attendees.

They put up a website called “” and three guests showed up to sleep on their air mattresses.

Unique Ideas of the Co-founders

In 2008, Chesky and Gebbia were trying to figure out how to fund their business when they hit upon an idea. They noticed that special-edition cereal boxes were selling for high prices on eBay and decided to create their own limited-edition cereal called “Obama O’s” to sell at the Democratic National Convention.

They also created a cereal called “Cap’n McCains” to sell at the Republican National Convention. The cereals were a hit and helped to fund the company.

In 2009, Airbnb was accepted into the Y Combinator seed funding program, a startup accelerator, and began to gain traction. The company quickly expanded to include offices and homes in Europe, and in 2011, they sponsored the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Growth of Airbnb

Airbnb has grown rapidly over the past decade and is now one of the world’s largest travel companies. In 2020, the company went public on the Nasdaq exchange, with its shares skyrocketing on its first day of trading.

According to Airbnb’s website, the company has over 4 million hosts and has facilitated over 800 million guest arrivals since its inception.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Airbnb’s rise to success is a fascinating story of entrepreneurship and innovation. Its co-founders, Brian Chesky, Joseph Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, have built a company that has revolutionized the travel industry.

By providing travelers with unique, affordable accommodations in cities around the world, Airbnb has disrupted the traditional hotel industry and brought about a new era of travel. As the company continues to grow, it will be exciting to see what new ideas and initiatives the co-founders come up with next.

Airbnb’s initial public offering (IPO) on December 10, 2020, marked the most anticipated IPO in the travel industry since Uber’s IPO in 2019. The IPO was launched on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ‘ABNB’, saw 52 million shares sold at $68 per share, and raised over $3.5 billion in proceeds.

The company’s valuation surged to over $86.5 billion, based on trading on December 11, 2020.

Initial Public Offering of Airbnb

Airbnb’s IPO marked a significant milestone for the company after years of waiting to go public. The decision to go public amid the COVID-19 pandemic was seen as a risky move for the company, considering the significant drop in travel and hospitality demands.

However, the company managed to hit the market at the right time and received massive investor interest, resulting in a successful IPO. The IPO was launched with an offering of 51.9 million shares of class A common stock.

The share price skyrocketed 113% from its initial public offering price on its first day of trading, closing at $144.71 per share. Airbnb raised $3.5 billion in its IPO, one of the largest in 2020.

The proceeds from the IPO will help Airbnb expand and develop new offerings, and keep up with increasing competition in the market.

Increase in Value of Airbnb Shares

After the successful IPO, Airbnb’s share price rose significantly, reaching a high of $146 per share at the end of December 2020. Airbnb shares became one of the hottest stocks in the market, as investors looked to buy into the travel and hospitality industries amid hopes of a global economic recovery.

In a span of only a few weeks, Airbnb’s valuation grew to over $100 billion, much higher than the valuation given before the IPO. The surge in Airbnb’s value was driven by investors’ belief in the company’s unique business model and its ability to achieve sustained growth in the future.

Despite a challenging year for the hospitality industry, the company has managed to emerge strongly and maintain its competitive edge in the market.

Major Shareholders of Airbnb

The list of Airbnb’s major shareholders features some of the world’s largest investment funds, which invested billions in the company before and after the IPO. As of March 2021, the top five major shareholders of Airbnb were:


Vanguard Group, Inc.: This is the largest provider of mutual funds worldwide and owns around 5.59% of Airbnb shares, valued at around $2.53 billion. 2.

Fidelity Management & Research Company: This multinational financial services company owns around 4.75% of Airbnb shares, valued at around $2.15 billion. 3.

Capital Research Global Investors: This investment management firm owns around 4.60% of Airbnb shares, valued at around $2.08 billion. 4.

BlackRock Inc.: This is currently the largest asset manager in the world, and owns around 4.35% of Airbnb shares, valued at around $1.97 billion. 5.

Polen Capital Management, LLC: This global investment manager owns around 3.19% of Airbnb shares, valued at around $1.44 billion. These major shareholders have supported Airbnb’s growth since its early days and have continued to invest in the company, particularly after the IPO.

The involvement of these major investment funds indicates the high level of confidence that investors have in Airbnb’s future growth prospects.

In Conclusion

Airbnb’s IPO marked a significant milestone for the company, achieving a successful listing despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The IPO was received positively, earning the company billions in investment and a high valuation in the market.

Its major shareholders have been instrumental in supporting the company from its early days and helped it grow into a global brand. With this support, Airbnb is well-positioned to continue leading the pack in offering innovative and desirable travel experiences.

In summary, Airbnb’s history is a remarkable story of entrepreneurship and innovation, fueled by the unique ideas of its co-founders, their hard work, and a bit of luck. The company’s IPO in December 2020 was a resounding success, raising billions of dollars and achieving a high valuation in the market, despite the global pandemic.

Major investment funds have continued to back the company, allowing it to maintain its competitive edge in the travel and hospitality industry. Overall, the Airbnb story exemplifies how innovation and a willingness to take risks can lead to success in business.

It also underscores the importance of adapting to changing circumstances and remaining relevant in the face of uncertainty.

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