Airbnb has seen astounding growth since opening for business in 2008, with the short-term vacation rental service active in 30,000 cities as of December 2012. International business has played a huge part in that story, with some 75% of bookings including a non-U.S. component, either on the listing or renting side.
Now, those in Europe will be able to hear first-hand about how Airbnb intends to grow that business — as well as face up to the challenges of it — when co-founder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk comes to speak at Disrupt Europe in Berlin in October.
Going after the same market as the multi-billion dollar hotel industry — not to mention other startups also hoping to tap into the world of entrepreneurial homeowners and frustrated travellers — has seen Airbnb butt heads with people. Like Uber, Airbnb has seen its share of regulatory hijinks (and surmounted them), and it has even had to make more direct efforts to dissuade people from taking business to competitors. The work to grow a new company that is taking on old industries is non-stop: earlier this week it emerged that Airbnb was reorganizing its whole international operation to better focus on improving customer experience and less on land grabs for more markets, and more inventory.
In October Disrupt Europe attendees have a chance to hear about how that plays out both for the business as it grows strategically and also how that plays out in terms of the tech platform scaling out, with Blecharczyk not only running the tech show today but also being the first engineer at the company.
Here’s Nate in conversation with Michael Abbott, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, talking earlier this year about how the company has grown up to now.
Tickets are currently available for Disrupt Europe and we’re still looking for startups to launch at the first Disrupt Battlefield held in Europe.
Blecharczyk is just the latest speaker in Disrupt Europe’s growing roster that also includes founder Marco Boerries, founder, Oliver Samwer and venture capitalist VC Sonali De Rycker. Many more will be announced as the event draws nearer.
Nathan is the co-founder and CTO at Airbnb. He oversees the technical strategy of the company, and is dedicated to building a team of world-class engineers to keep Airbnb at the forefront of the industry.
Nathan became an entrepreneur early on running an almost $1 million business while he was in high school, selling to clients in more than 20 countries.
He received a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University and held several engineering positions with Microsoft, OPNET Technologies and Batiq before becoming a co-founder at Airbnb.