Top row, from left: Company founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky
Bottom row: A sampling of some of the deals listed on Airbnb last month and their nightly rates (from left): apartments on the Upper West Side, on the Lower East Side and in Harlem
From the November issue: In late June, a San Francisco woman blogged about a nightmare experience renting her apartment through the increasingly popular online listing service Airbnb. She had returned from a week of business travel to “an apartment that had been ransacked” and burglarized, right down to an allegedly photocopied Social Security card.
Horror stories followed from other locations, too, throwing the three-year-old Airbnb, then on its way to raising more than $112 million in fresh capital and securing a valuation of $1.2 billion, under a national microscope and prompting elected officials to flex their regulatory muscles. (The company counts actor Ashton Kutcher and a slew of venture capitalists as investors.)
New York State had, less than a year before, enacted legislation that banned renting out Class A residential spaces — apartments intended only as permanent, rather than transient, residences — for less than 30 days. … [more]