Airbnb may be a company of pirates, but it seems to be sailing a little closer to home port. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is slowing down international hiring and that several employees have chosen to leave in the wake of a reorganization. Some functions, it is rumored, will be concentrated in a yet-to-be announced European hub, likely in Dublin.
Although its large Chinese competitor Airizu just folded, the online accommodations platform still has lots of overseas rivals, like Wimdu and HouseTrip. (You, too, can set up your own clone of the site for just $399.)
In the face of all this competition, Airbnb’s initial competitive strategy was to quickly expand, hiring a sales force to drum up listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries. But now it is doubling down on the customer experience and positive brand equity, with good-PR initiatives like helping provide emergency housing during disasters and a planning partnership with the city of San Francisco. Sometimes, there’s no place like home.AK