It’s summer, the UEFA EURO 2012 has just begun and the Olympics start next months. It must be a great time for Airbnb and other community marketplaces for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces.
Nowadays, the American original Airbnb and its German clones 9flats (founded by serial entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher) and Wimdu (founded by Rocket Internet) are each present in countless international markets. But if you compare the search volume for these three players, it’s almost the same in every country/market you’re looking at: Airbnb is number 1 (far ahead) then comes Wimdu on place number 2 and on the 3rd place is 9flats. Check out the Google Trends-chart on the left, which compares the global search volume of the three brands in 2012.
By the way: You get the same kind of ranking if you compare the amount of money the three companies have raised (Airbnb raised the most, 2nd is Wimdu, 9flats 3rd).
Sure, you could argue that Airbnb had a head start as the originator of the concept. But maybe its European competitors also underestimated the “community”-factor in the word “community marketplace”. Because after all, this is what Airbnb is known for. Another example for something that the originator made right: While Wimdu and 9flats were pumping out tons of boring job descriptions in order to scale fast, Airbnb had a unique and emotional way to recruit its co-workers. They had a nicely designed jobs-section and worked early on with cleverly produced videos that addressed future employees. Wimdu is now trying to do the same – at least when it comes to human resource-videos. You’ll find one below this article. Form your own opinion: Do these employees look happy?