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Airbnb's Backyard Initiative is Set to Sell and Design Homes

Airbnb has changed how millennials travel — taking the hassle out of booking expensive hotel rooms. Backyard, the company’s new initiative, is revamping the housing market. Fast Company first reported Airbnb would begin selling and designing affordable homes in 2019. Now Backyard buildings will be designed by Airbnb’s in-house studio, Samara. The goal of the initiative is to reshape how homes are designed, manufactured and sold, while being environmentally friendly. “The way buildings are made is outdated and generates a tremendous amount of waste. In order to meet the demands of the future, whether it be climate displacement or rural-urban migration, the home needs to evolve, to think forward,” Airbnb Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia said in a press release. The Backyard homes are optimal for Airbnb hosts — hosts can buy the homes for the specific purpose of renting them through Airbnb. However, renting out the spaces is not a requirement when buying. Airbnb’s...

Dec 3, 2018

Airbnb Wants to Give Equity To Its Hosts, But It's Going To Take Some Time

Airbnb wants to give its hosts shares of its company, but it won’t be easy. On Friday, Airbnb sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting changes to SEC Rule 701 that would allow a new class of shareholders for workers in the gig economy. Airbnb hosts are considered contractors, much like Uber drivers or Instacart shoppers, which do not have the same benefits as full-time employees or investors. “We believe that enabling private companies to grant hosts and other sharing economy participants equity in the company from an earlier stage would further align incentives between such companies and their sharing economy participants to the benefit of both,” Airbnb said in its letter. Airbnb’s request comes months after the company announced its plans to go public by June 2019. Airbnb risks running into other hurdles even if the SEC agrees to change its regulations. The current SEC rules state private companies with more than 2,000 shareholders or 500 or more...

Sep 26, 2018