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".[25] In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation.[26][27] 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.[18][28][29] 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.[30] 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.[29]
In January 2017, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, posted on Twitter that the company will give free housing to refugees and any others not allowed into the United States as a result of Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769, which temporarily banned refugees from the United States.[78][79] Airbnb also led a $13 million investment in restaurant reservation-booking app, Resy, along with serial entrepreneurs Gary Vaynerchuk, Ben Leventhal and Mike Montero.[80]
In the end, American let its employees decide the new livery's fate. On an internal website for employees, American posted two options, one the new livery and one a modified version of the old livery. All of the American Airlines Group employees (including US Airways and other affiliates) were able to vote.[72] American ultimately decided to keep the new look. Parker announced that American would keep a US Airways heritage aircraft in the fleet, with plans to add a heritage TWA aircraft and a heritage American plane with the old livery.[73]
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In August 2017, Airbnb cancelled numerous bookings and closed accounts belonging to attendees of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing its community standards user agreement to "accept people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age."[151]
Delta Air Lines Sees Premium Profit: On their third quarter earnings call, Delta executives confirmed what I had been hearing anecdotally for a while: Customers are buying premium seats at an increased rate. With a hot economy, more business and high-end leisure travelers are deciding they can afford business class, domestic first class, premium economy, and extra-legroom economy class seats. The business is so strong Delta executives said they would consider installing more premium seats.
Airbnb is criticized for its impact on housing affordability, sparking protests,[133][134][135] and for its related data management.[136][137] As of the beginning of 2018, several studies found that rental prices in many areas increased due to Airbnb, as landlords kept properties off the longer-term rental market and instead get higher rental rates for short-term housing via Airbnb.[138] Landlords have been accused of illegally evicting tenants in order to convert properties into Airbnb listings.[139] In San Francisco, the issue led to protests in November 2015.[140]
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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.[32][18] In April 2009, the company received $600,000 in seed money from Sequoia Capital[18] 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.[33]
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