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Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short-term lodging in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries across the globe. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, it has done more than any other company to change the way people find places to stay away from home. In recent years, Airbnb has evolved its peer-to-peer model to give hosts the tech tools they need to run a seamless, sophisticated operation. More than 40% of Airbnb listings are now available via Instant Book, allowing guests to make reservations much as they would a hotel booking, and a new check-in tool automatically feeds arrival instructions to them via the app. The company has also expanded into Business Travel Ready listings, which offer travelers a designated work space, guaranteed Wi-Fi, and more. Now valued at $31 billion, the company is also helping travelers explore the world outside their rentals. In 2016, Airbnb launched Trips, a service that lures travelers out of their rentals for local tours and adventures in 20 countries and 30 cities around the globe. And in an effort to address humanitarian issues, Airbnb launched an Open Homes program in 2017 that allows hosts to offer housing to refugees, displaced travelers, and those seeking shelter after disasters. 
In November 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Airbnb partnered with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to offer free housing for persons displaced by the storm.[51] Airbnb built a microsite for this effort alone where victims register for housing and meet property owners with free housing.[52] Additionally, Airbnb waived all service fees associated with these listings while maintaining the Host Guarantee for all properties listed.[53]
Hosts provide prices and other details for their rental or event listings. Pricing is determined by the host, with recommendations from Airbnb.[7] Hosts may be required to report income and pay income taxes on income received via Airbnb. In the US, homeowners who refinance their mortgages with some agencies are able to count income they earn from Airbnb rentals on their refinance loan applications.[8]
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