One year later, there were 15 people working from Chesky and Gebbia's loft apartment on Rausch Street in San Francisco. To make room for employees, Brian Chesky gave up his bedroom and lived at lodging booked via the Airbnb service until the company moved into its first office space. In April 2009, the company received $600,000 in seed money from Sequoia Capital and, in November 2010, raised $7.2 million in financing from Greylock Partners and, again, from Sequoia Capital, in a Series A round, then announcing that out of 700,000 nights booked, 80% had occurred in the previous six months.
• Boeing 777-200ER Version 1: Fully lie-flat seats manufactured by Zodiac Seats France, designed for American Airlines, with direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration with front-facing and rear-facing seats. Seat length: 77 inches (196 cm). Equipped with a 16-inch (41 cm) touchscreen monitor and touchscreen handset, two universal AC power outlets, and USB ports.
The European Union (EU) warned member states against banning sharing businesses like Airbnb and Uber, stating that outright bans should be used only as a last resort to attain public interest and that governments should instead implement more moderate regulations, which the sharing companies have had to navigate through. The European Commission advocated the EU's guidelines on regulating sharing businesses companies and warned that they were pulling massive revenues generated estimated at around 28 billion Euros across Europe.
United Airlines Grows at Hubs: United Airlines tweaked its network over the weekend, and I found its moves at Los Angeles, where I live, to be the most interesting. A decade ago, United was one of Hollywood’s preferred airlines, and it flew to many of the largest markets for entertainment, as well as bigger Western cities. Now, it’s focused on smaller markets from L.A., including some unusual additions: Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasco/Tri-Cities, Washington. Ben Mutzabaugh of USA Today has details.
To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains". In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation. It also got the company noticed by computer programmer Paul Graham, who invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a small interest in the company. With the website already built, they used the $20,000 Y-Combinator investment to fly to New York City to meet users and promote the site. They returned to San Francisco with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors. By March 2009, the site had 10,000 users and 2,500 listings.