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Shortly after moving to San Francisco in October 2007, roommates and former schoolmates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia could not afford the rent for their loft apartment. Chesky and Gebbia came up with the idea of putting an air mattress in their living room and turning it into a bed and breakfast. The goal at first was just "to make a few bucks". In February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky's former roommate, joined as the Chief Technology Officer and the third co-founder of the new venture, which they named AirBed & Breakfast. They put together a website which offered short-term living quarters, breakfast, and a unique business networking opportunity for those who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market. The site Airbedandbreakfast.com officially launched on August 11, 2008. The founders had their first customers in town in the summer of 2008, during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America, where travelers had a hard time finding lodging in the city.
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Expedia is one of the leading online travel agencies in the world, and while Expedia specializes in vacation packages, it also offers car rentals, hotel stays, cruises and the ability to book discounted attractions such as theme parks, shows and tours of famous and popular attractions. I love using Expedia because I can book everything at once — from my flight and hotel room to a car and tickets to hot destinations around where I’ll be staying — and not have to worry about a thing. Reading the guest reviews for our Florida vacation trip gave me an insider view of the hotels before I booked, and I used Expedia to coordinate the whole trip, so the flight, hotel and rental car were all set when we were ready to start our vacation. That took so much stress off of the vacation planning, and with the extra money we saved, we were able to buy extra souvenirs for our friends and family back home. Here are some ways you can ensure that your vacation planning is as relaxing and discounted as possible:
One year later, there were 15 people working from Chesky and Gebbia's loft apartment on Rausch Street in San Francisco. To make room for employees, Brian Chesky gave up his bedroom and lived at lodging booked via the Airbnb service until the company moved into its first office space. In April 2009, the company received $600,000 in seed money from Sequoia Capital and, in November 2010, raised $7.2 million in financing from Greylock Partners and, again, from Sequoia Capital, in a Series A round, then announcing that out of 700,000 nights booked, 80% had occurred in the previous six months.