Airbnb launches $1M competition to find unconventional rentals

Applicants are asked to submit their wildest ideas for rentals

Mar.March 15, 2020 04:00 PM
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and a Unique Airbnb Fund home (Credit: Airbnb)

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and a Unique Airbnb Fund home (Credit: Airbnb)

Airbnb wants to find the “most unconventional and unusual livable spaces on the planet,” and it’s willing to pay big bucks for good ideas.

The company is setting aside $1 million for an open competition to find the best and most unique rentals possible, according to the New York Post. The company will give the people who submit the 10 best ideas $100,000 each to build their creations, which will then be rented out on the platform.

Applicants first have to submit an essay outlining their idea. A panel that includes Broadway performer Billy Porter and architecture firm MVRDV will decide the 10 winners.

Designs must demonstrate “feasibility, sustainability, and social good,” to win, according to the competition rules.

The winners are responsible for building their design. Airbnb expects them to be completed between June and December.

Airbnb regularly partners with outside parties to rent unique properties on its platform. Recently, it partnered with the operators of Lucy the Elephant, the 138-year-old elephant-shaped tourist attraction, to rent out Lucy’s one room for the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day.

In other Airbnb news, the company is busily preparing for its planned initial public offering this year. Despite a revenue of $1.65 billion, the company lost $322 million in the first nine months of 2019 as it spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its technology, remedy administrative issues, and make its platform safer for users. [New York Post] — Dennis Lynch

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