Images: Store Architects and James Nook Subject Operations (Domino); Courtesy of Airbnb (Residence)

Based: 2008
Whole friends: eight.5 million
Friends who stayed in castles this weekend: 123
Lesson: Residence-swapping may be role-play.

“Airbnb was actually born from a math downside,” says co-founder Joe Gebbia. “We stop our jobs to be entrepreneurs, and the owner raised our lease past our means. And so we had a math downside to unravel. It simply so occurred that that coming weekend, a design convention got here to San Francisco that simply worn out the lodges within the metropolis. We linked the dots. We had additional house in our residence—what if we shared that house with them and have been capable of offset our lease by slightly bit? So thus was born the air bed-and-breakfast.” From that determined, sitcom-ready setup, the San Francisco–based mostly firm has grown to attach greater than half one million keen hosts and trusting vacationers in additional than 34,000 cities and 192 nations—from filth flooring to castles to tree homes—because of $120 million in enterprise funding from the likes of Marc Andreessen and Ashton Kutcher.

The First Airbnb Residence: Click on Above for a Tour From the Proprietor (and Firm Founder!)