2007-08 : Early Concept

In October of 2007 two roommates and former colleagues, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky came up this idea of putting an air mattress in their living room and turning it into a bed and breakfast. They were staying in San Francisco, California and named this new concept Airbed and Breakfast. Before setting up a website, a third member, named Nathan Blecharczyk joined. They launched their website on August 11, 2008 and welcomed their very first customers that same year.

2009 : Name Change

In January of 2009 a computer programmer named Paul Graham invited the founders to his startup incubator, Y Combinator. There the founders were provided with training and funding. In return they gave Graham a small interest in the company. Afterwards Airbnb received a payment of $20,000 from Y Combinator and used it to promote their site in New York and San Francisco.

Apart from changing their name at the time, Airbed and Breakfast to what it is known as today, Airbnb, they also changed the arrangements on their website. It didn’t look use the round sans serif font from before and now all the letters were lowercase. It was heavily outlined and it looked very scripted at a first glance. Airbnb no longer centered solely on airbeds and shared spaces but now included entire houses, apartments, private rooms and many others types of properties.

2011 : Big Adjustments

By July of 2011, both the website and application itself went on to gaining millions of dollars in financing. With their notable success they were able to open and establish their very first international office in London in October that same year. As time progressed more users, including international users, turned to Airbnb more offices were constructed. This included setting up in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Moscow and São Paolo.

2012-13 : Expanding Operations

Airbnb continued to expand its corporation to the Eastern Hemisphere and managed to open up another office in Sydney by November of 2012. In that same month, Airbnb launched their very own travel guide called “Neighborhoods”. Its sole purpose is to help travelers choose a neighborhood in which to stay based on certain criteria or personal preference.

By the time October of 2015 came around over millions of people have signed up and used Airbnb. With more customers coming around over two hundred thousands of more properties were added to Airbnb.

2014 : Logo Change

Around July of 2014 Airbnb introduced a brand new logo that would represent both the website and application. It was given the name, Bélo, and it represents this feeling of belonging and is made up of four crucial components. It includes:

  • Human Head – this symbol represents people
  • Location Icon – this symbol represents a place
  • Heart – this symbol represents love
  • Letter A – this symbol represents first letter of the company’s name.

The name, Airbnb, looked completely new. The color scheme was not like the one before and it appears that the creators came up with a new typeface called Cereal. It was still in lowercase but it did no have any kinds of serifs and the letters are not connected to one another.

Source: DesignStudio

2016-18 : Funding & New Features

Airbnb grew tremendously and raised over millions of dollars in funding around September of 2016 and the company’s value was about $30 billion. Then in March of 2017, Airbnb raised $1 billion more in funding and had raised more than $3 billion dollars in funding.

Some time in February of 2018, Airbnb announced a brand new concept called Airbnb Plus.It consisted of a collection of homes that have been vetted for quality of services, comfort and design. It came with this feature called Beyond which offers luxury vacation rentals.

2019-20 : COVID-19

During the COVID-19, bookings dropped at a massive rate such as reaching 96% in some heavily populated cities. Despite this there was also a slight increase in bookings in numerous rural areas.

Around March of 2020, the CEO and Head of the Community, Brian Chesky wrote a letter to any and all hosts of Airbnb. He pledged about $250 million dollars in payouts to the hosts that were affected during the pandemic. This enormous compensation was to cover for any guest cancellations that took place over the past few months.

2022 : Present Day

Airbnb continues to grow and has undoubtedly come a long way from what it started out to be. It’s a growing community full of hosts and welcoming folks. The possibilities are endless and there is so much you can do when it comes to traveling and experiencing new places. If you want to see firsthand as to what it is like, Airbnb posts every now and then on their very own YouTube channel.