9flats

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9flats
Type Private
Industry social networking service
Founded 2010, Launch March 2011
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Key people Stephan Uhrenbacher (Chairman, Founder)
Roman Bach (CEO, Co-Founder)
Website www.9flats.com

9flats is a peer-to-peer property rental company for private accommodations. Travelers book to stay in other people’s residences[1] and property owners rent out their private accommodations.[2]

Launched by German internet entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher – founder of Qype, and former head of northern European operations for lastminute.com[2][3] – the site is a European competitor to the US-based Airbnb.[4] In 2014 Roman Bach was named CEO while Stephan Uhrenbacher steppend up to the advisory board. [5]

History[edit]

The founders secured funding from venture capital fund eVenture Capital Partners (CityDeal/Groupon) and launched 9flats.com in February 2011[2] with an inventory of 5,000 places.[6] The company was initially based in nine different locations around the world,[7] and is now headquartered in Berlin, with offices in Hamburg and Toronto.[2]

In May 2011, 9flats secured another round of investment from venture capital funds Redpoint Ventures (HomeAway), ProFounder (ex-lastminute.com) and Greycroft Partners, bringing the total funding to $10m.[8] In January 2012, 9flats completed a round of funding led by T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom AG. This round also included Redpoint Ventures and E-Venture Capital Partners (Hamburg).[9]

In April 2012, 9flats had over 50,000 members and 30,000 hosts[10] in 104 countries.[11]

In August 2012, 9flats acquired the Toronto-based competitor istopover - thus extending its service to North America and growing its property base to 100.000 apartments.[12] [13]

9flats is growing by 300% despite a tight competition.[14] In March 2013 9flats introduced bitcoin as payment method and is ever since supporting projects around the cryptocurrency.[15]

In 2014 9flats has announced to be the first profitable player in the Social Travel Industry.[16]

Business model[edit]

The website uses a collaborative consumption model[17] to enable people to share resources. People looking for short-term accommodation book other people’s private places online or through a telephone booking line, and property owners pay a fee for this service. 9flats is the only player in this field that does not charge the guest anything - all fees are paid by the Host.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew, Couts. "Travel hotel-free by finding unique lodging online". Digital Trends. Digital Trends. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Solon, Olivia (17 May 2011). "9flats launches in UK, lets you rent your spare room to the web". wired.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  3. ^ http://stephan-uhrenbacher.com/about
  4. ^ Palmer, Maija (28 October 2011). "Berlin emerges as technology challenger". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  5. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/20/9flats-founder-moves-upstairs/
  6. ^ Seiderer, Sophia (16 March 2012). "Schlafplatzvermittlung im Internet: Von Sofa bis Penthouse". Die Welt. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Uhrenbacher, Stephan. "9flats.com". Stephan Uhrenbacher blog. Stephan Uhrenbacher. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (31 May 2011). "Airbnb moves ‘aggressively’ into Europe". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Bernau, Varinia (12 January 2012). "Was die Telekom mit Groupon und 9flats vorhat". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  10. ^ 9flats. "9flats LinkedIn Overview". 9flats LinkedIn page. LinkedIn. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Hall, Max (11 January 2012). "9flats gets multi-million Deutsche Telekom funding". www.venturevillage.eu. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  12. ^ http://gigaom.com/europe/airbnb-rivals-consolidate-as-9flats-picks-up-istopover/
  13. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/06/9flats-acquires-istopover-to-put-the-heat-on-airbnb-doubles-its-rentals-capacity/
  14. ^ http://stephan-uhrenbacher.com/what-i-do-entrepreneur-investor-coach/741/
  15. ^ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303789604579196171277465460
  16. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/20/9flats-founder-moves-upstairs/
  17. ^ Tunguz, Tomasz. "How 'Collaborative Consumption' Is Transforming Startups". Huffington Post Business. www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Gray Faust, Chris (October 23, 2011). "Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Roomorama on the rise". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 

External links[edit]