Digital

Airbnb, the coolest lingo for startup descriptions on AngelList

@rafat

Jan 28, 2013 5:00 am

Skift Take

Sharing economy is the new new thing and companies large and small that unlock the value of underutilized assets using digital platforms will help redefine large swathes of industries across the spectrum.

— Rafat Ali

Report: The Rise of the Silent Traveler


That Airbnb is the poster-child of the sharing economy — or collaborative consumption if you want to be hipper — is now a given, so much so that a fuddy-duddy business magazine like Forbes put the company and its CEO Brian Chesky on its latest cover.

But before a company becomes the zeitgeist in the larger pop culture, it has to pass through a rather delicate phase, where other early stage startups start using its name in their own shorthand descriptions. These days, besides tech blogs using shorthands in their headlines, which has been going on for as long as Techcrunch has existed, AngelList is the preferred place for these descriptions.

And Airbnb rules the roost on AngelList these days, the cool company to use in your shorthand to catch potential investor’s eye. It used to be Instagram or Yelp, but the former got bought, and the latter isn’t that cool anymore. Also, investors — especially angel investors — usually work in herds, and these days, the biggest herd is salivating over everything collaborative consumption.

So we did the hard work and sifted through hundreds of AngelList profiles to come up with the ultimate “Airbnb of” or “Airbnb for” list. Some observations:

  • Most common: Airbnb of car sharing, or its many variations.
  • Second most common: Airbnb of office space (Nevermind the history of Loosecubes, which rose fast and then crashed and burned).
  • Strangest: AirBnB for Next-Gen DNA Sequencing, for the biotech startup Cheap-Seq.

Without further ado, the 75 odd companies that think they’re the Airbnb of…well.

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