Airbnb DECODED: what are unicorns made of?

2 min read
November 17, 2016

Spoiler: It’s not rainbow and glitter ?.

Airbnb needs no introduction: It’s pretty much the biggest peer-to-peer online marketplace for accommodation, and if you’re a travel junkie who’s budget or personal philosophy doesn’t play with staying at the Ritz, you’ve used it.

Rbnb app decoded

It’s also one of the shining unicorns of the startup world, the token example startup that did not in fact fail, but has actually managed to do what every founder plans to: Disrupt.

And since it’s disrupting both the travel and the hotel industry with its sharing economy claims, it’s no wonder that the company is valued at $25.5 billion, and has been increasing the revenue yearly, finishing 2015 with around $900MM.

There are over 2 000 000 listings in 34 000 cities and 191 countries and the list of both accommodation and users just keeps on growing. But what is this particular unicorn made of?

The cogs that turned the travel industry on its head

Now, here’s the thing about Airbnb. As you may have noticed, it’s humongous. It’s a huge ass platform with a sleek interface on top and sprinkled with some butter-smooth animations. And let’s not forget the additional features like support for smart locks, and whatever they have in store for today’s big reveal.

We toned this down a bit and examined the basic use case that gives you all the bells and whistles of renting or renting out places.

And it’s still pretty huge. Just look at that back end!

Apps, hosts and travelers

The apps feature two modes with different options: Traveling mode is used if you’re looking for accommodation, and Host mode is used when you host, obviously. Now let’s take a look at what they are comprised of:

That’s a whole lot of man-days

Yes, it is. We warned you it was a big platform. If you want to create something akin to Airbnb, it’s going to take time, and quite some resources to build.

If we set up a team of 3 Android, 3 iOS, 2 backend and 2 frontend developers, the total countdown to delivery would be 110 days!

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Written by

Mario Zderic

Co-founder and CTO

Mario makes every project run smoothly. A firm believer that people are DECODE’s most vital resource, he naturally grew into the role of People Operations Manager. Now, his encyclopaedic knowledge of every DECODEr’s role, and his expertise in all things tech, powers him to manage his huge range of responsibilities as COO. Part developer, and seemingly part therapist, Mario is always calm under pressure, which helps to maintain the office’s stress-free vibe. In fact, sitting and thinking is his main hobby. What’s more Zen than that?

Related articles