Airbnb processed around 40 million reservations in 2014, but that’s nowhere near enough for 2015.
Speaking to Reuters, several Airbnb investors acknowledged that the residential lodging company isn’t satisfied with its stunning performance over the last year. In fact, anonymous investors reportedly said that Airbnb executives are shooting for around 80 million nightly bookings by the time 2015 comes to a close.
“It’s a global phenom,” said Keith Rabois, partner at Khosla Ventures. “[It] is going to continue to grow at a substantially higher rate than other businesses.”
At first glance, Airbnb’s projections might seem like wishful thinking, but recent history demonstrates that users are more than willing to contribute to the site’s growth. Airbnb has seen its number of listings increase steadily to about 1.5 million since it launched with a few thousand in 2008, Venture Beat reported. Funding has spiked similarly, going from just over $7 million in 2010 to $112 million in 2011, $200 million in 2012 and $450 million in 2014.
How is Airbnb planning on effectively doubling the number of bookings made in 2015? Reuters explained that the company has been aggressively pursuing expansion throughout Europe, with some property owners on the continent receiving letters from Airbnb inviting them to add their homes as listings. Work is also already underway on Airbnb’s entrance to China, which could make the 80-million mark an afterthought. Airbnb has already announced plans to expand into African markets like South Africa, though it has had to amend its usual policies to adapt to an international clientele.
While expansion into untapped markets is a fast way for Airbnb to inflate booking statistics, long-term success might come more from the world of analytics and pricing strategies. To achieve 80 million bookings, though, Airbnb might do well to use a bit of from column A and a bit from column B.
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