Is there room for smaller, more focused Airbnb competitors? French startup Misterb&b thinks so as the startup just raised $8.5 million from Project A and Ventech to build an apartment renting platform focused on the LGBTQ community.
As the name suggests, Misterb&b started with a focus on gay people, but the company says that it wants to become the inclusive platform for the LGBTQ community. While you’ll find plenty of apartments in gay areas on Airbnb, you don’t really know the person you’re dealing with.
According to founder Matthieu Jost, this can be an issue as he had a bad experience with a host when he was traveling with his partner. And this can get even worse if you’re going to a country where homosexuality is still illegal.
When you book an apartment on Misterb&b, everybody is on the same page and you don’t need to lie to your host. And if you’re the kind of traveler who likes asking your host for tips, you could learn more from your host when it comes to places to hang out in a foreign city.
Right now, Misterb&b works with 100,000 hosts in 135 countries. And if you browse the website, it looks and feels just like Airbnb, so you’ll feel right at home.
Now let’s come back to my initial question for a minute. Airbnb has become an all-encompassing giant. It’s now too big to fail, and nothing is going to replace it. But Airbnb also created an untapped space, and there’s still room to grow.
That’s why Onefinestay managed to build an ultra high-end Airbnb for instance. AccorHotels then acquired Onefinestay for $170 million. Misterb&b is another good example of a startup branching out from an industry-leading tech company with a smaller focus.
So I think there’s enough room for multiple companies in this space. As long as the market is not too fragmented, it’s going to be a win for consumers as everybody will get more options.