Jeff Iloulian braced for his business to crash when the Covid-19 pandemic set in this spring. Iloulian runs HostGPO, a company that helps owners who rent property through Airbnb and similar platforms negotiate discounts on household products and furnishings. His clients suddenly had so few guests in lucrative urban markets that some hired movers to haul furniture from downtown apartments to nearby warehouses.
This would have been a disaster for HostGPO, except that those same property managers were doing big business in rural markets, and they began hunting for real estate in places not known as vacation hotbeds: Lake Arrowhead in addition to Lake Tahoe, eastern Pennsylvania as well as the Hamptons. “People are buying expensive furniture in the Poconos right now,” says Iloulian. “The demand moved around, it didn’t vanish.”
The shifting geography of Iloulian’s business helped save his year. It also saved Airbnb, the short-term rental platform that most of his clients rely on for many of their customers. Heading into 2020, Airbnb was poised for one of the most anticipated initial public offerings of the year—and a validation for one of the buzziest tech startups of the last decade. The coronavirus changed that. While the pandemic has been terrible for Airbnb in many respects, the company has done well compared with airlines, hotel brands, cruise lines, and most other parts of the global travel industry. Its revenue fell 18% during the third quarter compared with 2019. That was far better than Marriott International Inc., which reported a 57% drop in sales, and online travel agency Expedia Group Inc., whose revenue declined 58%.
In fact, the third quarter was Airbnb’s most successful to date by some financial measures. To some extent that’s a result of drastic spending cuts.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
How to Survive A Bubble
No one can be sure if markets are too high—but your emotions probably are
PELOTON WANTS TO BE MORE THAN A PANDEMIC FAD
In March, a couple of weeks after sweeping stay-at-home orders had brought much of the U.S. to a halt, William Lynch says he realized Peloton Interactive Inc. would fare really well in the year of the pandemic.
HELP IS ON THE WAY But the world still needs a shot in the arm!
The economic outlook is starting to brighten just about everywhere you look
Drugstores To the Rescue
Pharmacy chains aim to boost the vaccine rollout—and their bottom lines
China Tightens Its Grip on Fintech
In late 2020, as Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. prepared for a $35 billion initial public offering, many outside China wondered if the country’s financial technology giants were becoming a global competitive threat to U.S. and European banks and payments companies. Ant’s Alipay app, used for everything from hailing cabs to investing, had already rewired financial services in the world’s second-largest economy. There was just one problem: Inside China, policymakers were growing uneasy about the sudden dominance of their homegrown superstars.
China Comes For Its Tech Giants
The Chinese government’s crackdown on the country’s largest technology companies has raised fears that the industry could be paralyzed or cast into disarray as the economy enters a delicate moment. But one contingent within the tech sector is privately cheering on a broad set of anti-monopoly edicts: startups and their investors.
Charging DUES, Making DO
Phil and Erin Lockwood never imagined their family would be traveling more during the coronavirus pandemic. But since joining the vacation club Inspirato last September, the parents of three have swapped one annual trip to a Disney theme park for villa rentals in Cabo San Lucas and Costa Rica.
Tech boomed during the pandemic. It may not last
ASIA'S BATTERY GIANTS GO GLOBAL
Leaders of the electric-car era are moving to cement their dominance
Test All of Minnesota? You Betcha
Minnesota is setting an example for other states and the federal government. If anyone is interested
Back-to-Back Blockbuster IPOs Revitalize Wall Street
Last year was full of blockbuster IPOs (initial public offerings) across the globe.
Airnbn, Resilient in Pandemic, Goes Forward With IPO
Airbnb proved its resilience in a year that has upended global travel. Now it needs to prove to investors that it sees more growth ahead.
Airbnb Hopes To Raise Up To $2.6B In Mid-December IPO
Airbnb hopes to raise as much as $2.6 billion in its initial public stock offering this month, betting investors will see its home-sharing model as the future of travel.
AIRBNB DETAILS YEARS OF LOSSES AHEAD OF PLANNED IPO
Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed this week ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock.
IS IT SAFE TO STAY IN HOTELS DURING THE PANDEMIC?
Is it safe to stay in hotels during the pandemic?
AIRBNB SETS UP ENDOWMENT, COUNCIL FOR HOSTS AHEAD OF IPO
Airbnb is setting up an endowment fund to support its 4 million hosts as part of its upcoming initial public offering.
Airbnb Requires Hosts To Commit To Enhanced Cleaning
Airbnb said it will require hosts to comply with enhanced cleaning procedures as part of its effort to reassure guests and local officials during the coronavirus pandemic.
Airnbnb Blocking Some Rentals Over Halloween To Halt Parties
Airbnb will prohibit one-night rentals over Halloween weekend as part of its ongoing effort to crack down on party houses.
AIRBNB: REVOLUTIONIZING TRAVEL THROUGH TECH
After a turbulent year with the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to the world’s travel plans, rental giant Airbnb is preparing to go public. Over the past decade, the Silicon Valley startup has transformed the way we sleep and explore, and its dominance will only continue to grow.
AIRBNB FILES PRELIMINARY PAPERWORK FOR PUBLIC STOCK OFFERING
Airbnb filed preliminary paperwork to sell company stock on Wall Street, undaunted by a global pandemic that has taken some wind out of its home-sharing business.