Airbnb, the online marketplace for listing and booking short-term housing accommodations, has been on a roll lately: In June it hit 10 million nights booked, boasting hockey stick-like growth along the way. Well, it had a really big night last Saturday, hitting a new record with more than 60,000 guests booking lodgings through the service. Not only was that five times the number of guests it had a year prior, but a large number of those guests — 75 percent — were using the marketplace for the first time.
Airbnb is using the occasion to highlight the international community it has amassed, along with some of the unique lodgings that it boasts. It noted guests from 174 different countries around the world, including guests from far-off locales like Zimbabwe and Nepal.
Two-thirds of guests were from outside the United States, and speak more than 30 different languages, including Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Punjabi, Tagalog, Finnish, and Sign Language. Of the international community, France had the most number of guests, with 6,800, as pretty much the entire country goes on vacation during August. Airbnb also saw 800 guests from Brazil and 120 from India.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot of activity in London due to the Summer Olympic Games. Airbnb prepped for this by acquiring UK-based Crashpadder earlier this spring, and had 3,400 guests in London that night. Altogether, Airbnb had guests staying in 500 different cities, including 1,900 in Los Angeles, 300 in Reykjavik, 250 in Rio de Janeiro, and 200 guests in Bali.
The demographics highlight that Airbnb is no longer just about post-grad backpackers using the service, as more than half of guests booking lodging last Saturday were over the age of 30. Almost ten percent (5,500) were over the age of 50, and it even counted 320 that were 70 or older.
That’s also demonstrated in the types of lodgings people are booking. Last Saturday, 1,200 guests stayed in villas, while 10 stayed in castles and eight booked private islands. There were also 120 guests staying in boats, 30 in treehouses, and 15 staying in (shudder) caves.
Airbnb’s record night came after the startup redesigned its website in June, so it looks like that’s going well and isn’t having any adverse effects on bookings. The startup, which is based in San Francisco, has raised about $120 million over the years, and has more than 500 employees worldwide.