Airbnb’s strategy for weathering high inflation, economic headwinds

Airbnb’s strategy for weathering high inflation, economic headwinds

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Airbnb is adaptable to any kind of economy: CEO Brian Chesky

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky discusses if leisure travel can hold up in a slowing economy on ‘The Claman Countdown.’

Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk said the company has been able to gain a competitive advantage even in the midst of the uncertain economic times in part because it can cater to consumers with budgets at every price point. 

In an interview with FOX Business, Blecharczyk acknowledged the growing financial pressures gripping the nation and recognized the parallels between the current economic climate and when the company started in 2008.

Still, he expressed confidence in the home-share platform, saying that in times of financial uncertainty Airbnb can still do very well.

"There's really something at every price point, every variety of home," Blecharczyk said. "I think that gives us a competitive advantage in these times." Airbnb can "match consumer needs as they evolve very well," he added. 

The comments came just weeks after Airbnb updated its platform to make total fees for homes more transparent to address complaints from customers regarding hidden fees when booking. 

"I’ve heard you loud and clear—you feel like prices aren’t transparent and checkout tasks are a pain," CEO Brian Chesky tweeted earlier this month. "Starting next month, you’ll be able to see the total price you're paying up front." 

AIRBNB POSTS $1.2 BILLION PROFIT IN 3Q AS REVENUE JUMPS 29%

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ABNBAIRBNB INC.107.11-2.46-2.25%

The company is still seeing high travel demand, especially as companies continue to let employees have a flexible work environment, according to Blecharczyk. 

The Airbnb Inc. application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, March 8, 2019. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Travel has been really strong… I think that's true for the entire industry. There's just a strong desire to get out there," he said. 

According to the company's third-quarter earnings report, Airbnb had its "biggest and most profitable quarter ever despite geopolitical and macroeconomic headwinds." The company's revenue grew a record 29% year over year to $2.9 billion. It also reported a record profit of $1.2 billion for the quarter. Both figures beat Wall Street estimates, but the company warned that bookings would slow in the fourth quarter.

Blecharczyk said the company has been very productive over the last few years after facing "difficulty at the start of the pandemic" when its revenue plummeted 80% in the span of a few weeks as COVID-19 brought travel to a standstill. 

AIRBNB CEO PREDICTS GUESTS WILL STAY 'WEEKS, MONTHS, OR EVEN ENTIRE SEASONS AT A TIME'

The Airbnb Inc. application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, March 8, 2019.  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Since then, the company has made over 150 upgrades to its platform, which Blecharczyk says has "ultimately driven great financial performance." 

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Airbnb is also seeing growth in the number of new hosts, according to the company's latest earnings report. Currently, there are about 4 million hosts on the platform.

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