Skift Take

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia has sold over $1.37 billion in shares since leaving his role, still retaining 19.8% of voting power.

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, who left his full-time role at the company a year ago, has sold more than $1.37 billion worth of his Class A shares since that time, including more than $1 billion so far in 2023, according to regulatory filings, Bloomberg reported. Gebbia still chairs the non-profit Airbnb.org, but more importantly, he retains the bulk — but not all — of his Class B shares, which now give him 19.8% of Airbnb’s voting power. Together with his two other co-founders, CEO Brian Chesky (30.6%) and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk (26.9%), they control 77.3% of Airbnb’s voting power.

Did You Know That … ?

Incidentally, the Airbnb co-founder troika’s combined voting power of 77.3% in 2023 was a significant increase from 72% in 2022. In a December 4, 2020 pact, the threesome agreed to vote for each others’ nominations to the board of directors, and to oppose their ouster.

Gebbia, who Bloomberg said has a net worth of close to $9 billion, is co-founder and majority investor in San Francisco-based Samara, which makes diminutive, modular homes. That company was seeded in Airbnb’s design studio, which Gebbia headed, and Airbnb transferred assets to the new company to help make it happen.

Meanwhile, if Gebbia is cashing in a portion of his Airbnb shares, the number of institutional investors and funds with reportable stakes in Airbnb increased 7% sequentially in the second quarter to 1,691, Fintel reported. AGTHXGrowth Fund of America increased its ownership in Airbnb to 2.76% of the company in the second quarter; and Capital Research Global Investors (2.43%), Wellington Management Group (2.06%), Polen Capital Management (1.89%), and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (1.81%) all increased their Airbnb stakes, as well.

First on Skift

San Francisco-based Sonder operates rooms in multi-family apartments, and increasingly hotels, which it wants younger generations of guests, in particular, to be able to find. Thus we reported Monday that Sonder launched its first hotel collection, dubbed Powered by Sonder.

Listed on all the big platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia. com, Hotels.com and others, as well as Sonder.com, the 23 hotels in 13 markets to date lean toward being boutique hotels, and some of them stand out from other Sonder-operated hotels because they have onsite food and beverage. Powered by Sonder markets include Paris, Nice, New York City and Los Angeles, among other destinations.

Sonder Launches Its First Hotel Collection

From Boom Times to Challenges in a Three-Year Span

Places like Garrett County, Maryland, saw boom times in home sales and home prices early in the pandemic. But now a big bump in vacation rental listings and people opting to fly instead of drive for vacation has led occupancy and vacation rental prices to drop considerably.

A similar correction took place in other locales, including Palm Springs, California. There the number of licensed vacation rentals jumped 25% to 2,881 from January 2022 through April 2023, and vacation rental prices fell off a proverbial cliff.

Short-Term Rental Saturation Leads to a Correction – and Lots of Home Sales

Airbnbs Versus Hotels for the Price-Conscious in Europe

There’s no big mystery why short-term rentals can be a preferred option for price-conscious travelers in Europe: They tend to be cheaper than hotels in a lot of the continent’s big cities.

Moneyzine recently scraped Airbnb.com and Trivago, compared the average nightly rates for one adult, and found that Airbnb rates on average were 61.77% lower in Istanbul (#1) at $45.37; 49.53% cheaper in Athens (#2) at $69.67; and 48.88% lower in Lisbon (#3) at $107.51. Even Brussels (#15) saw a 30.02% differential at Airbnbs compared with hotels at $118.27, according to the study.

Among the 35 European cities scrutinized, the lone exception was Oslo, Norway, where Airbnb’s at $152.67 were 9.05% costlier than hotels.

Maine Planning Commission Mulls Owners Self-Certifying Short-Term Rentals

While popular vacation destinations such as Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport, Maine, already cap and require short-term rental registrations, the state’s Land Use Planning Commission is considering how to handle a cascading number of noise, nuisance and environmental complaints about such rentals in another 10.4 million acres worth of unorganized terrain.

The commission recommended that short-term rental owners notify the planners of their properties’ existence and self-certify that they meet an endorsed set of standards, according to The Maine Monitor.

That seems like a relatively benign ask for short-term rental proprietors, depending on the stringency of the standards.

Citing AirDNA statistics, the planning commission said there were 569 active short-term rental listings in these territories in 2021.

Srividya Kalyanaraman writes the Skift Short-Term Rental Report. Contact her with news tips, comments and feedback at [email protected]

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Tags: airbnb, sstrr

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