FairBnB will offer ethical alternative to Airbnb in 2019

by | Dec 18, 2018 | News

FairBnB will roll out in January 2019 with availability in four pilot cities. The new company that seeks to provide similar service minus the criticisms levelled at Airbnb.

Is it possible to have an Airbnb-like company but without the problems associated with it? FairBnB aims to do just that. Let’s dive in.

Airbnb: a tainted success story?

Airbnb has been an incredible business success story. The company burst onto the scene in the past decade with a fairly simple idea: help people rent their homes, rooms, and other extra space to tourists at a price that they set.

The idea has been popular, and, as a result, Airbnb’s yearly revenue has now passed the $2 billion mark—all within the company’s first 10 years of existence.

Its services are now available in most countries, and the hospitality industry has correctly assessed Airbnb as a viable threat it must address.

Airbnb’s success, however, has also caused problems for others, namely the communities in which its platform is most popular. In fact, activities and public officials in cities the world over have directly cited Airbnb as a significant cause of civic issues such as rising rent, gentrification, over-saturation with tourists, and ongoing housing crises.

Is FairBnB the answer?

All of this is directly responsible for a new idea. Just ask Sito Veracruz, who along with his partners has created what is being billed as a fairer alternative to Airbnb. It’s even in the company’s name: FairBnB.

What is FairBnB? FairBnB is quite a bit like Airbnb with three main differences.

First, Veracruz says, is the transparency and legality. FairBnB is setting out to directly work with governments on things such as strict one-host one-home policies. The company also is determined to pay taxes at the local level.

The second difference is that a 50-percent commission from rentals will be used to fund community projects.

The third difference is that the platform is to be a cooperative, owned by a group of people who contribute to it. Salaries in the cooperative are limited.

There are currently eight members operating the cooperative with plans to expand.

Modest beginnings

“Our aim is to make a bigger ‘umbrella’ and include different actors in the cooperative. That would include local nodes, neighbors, investors, and eventually the hosts themselves. The hosts would then be part of the cooperative and would be able to vote in the assembly and select people to represent them in the board of directors,” Veracruz told media.

It, of course, remains to be seen whether FairBnB can pose even a moderate threat to Airbnb’s business. The latter platform is far better-known, with a critical mass of existing users.

FairBnB, however, will roll out in January 2019 with availability in four pilot cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna and Venice.

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