Airbnb, Lyft, and Ola: This Week’s Collaborative Economy Big 3

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Airbnb Unveils New Products to Further Streamline Hospitality Experience
Airbnb announced a series of products at Airbnb Open that, combined with existing services, position the company as a full-service hospitality brand. These new offerings include dynamic pricing based on location, demand, and rental amenities; MasterCard credit card for use with local merchants; “smart lock” keyless integration to ease the inconvenience of key exchanges between hosts and renters; and a focus on helping business travelers via integration with Concur and guaranteed wifi, iron, designated workspace, and 24-hour booking response for business rentals. The combined force of its offerings launch Airbnb into a separate category from current hotelier competition. Many companies think competition comes from the side, when often times it comes from their own customers. Read more about Airbnb’s announcement from TheNextWeb, or check out an interview with its head of hospitality on Travel+Leisure.

Lyft Expects to Reach $1 Billion in Gross Annual Revenue
According to Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer, the ride-hailing app expects to reach $1 billion in gross annual revenue in 2015, due in part to increased market share in U.S. cities. Lyft transacts with 7 million riders each month and has 40% market share in San Francisco and Austin. The company’s net revenue was estimated at $130 million in 2014, according to company financial documents cited by Bloomberg. Bloomberg also reports, however, that recently leaked Lyft financials show significant losses in the first half of 2015, which could be a turn-off to potential investors. By comparison, Reuters reports that Uber’s gross bookings are projected at $10.84 billion this year and $26.12 billion the next, and, based on those figures, Uber’s 2015 net revenue would be $2 billion. The transportation market is worth a whopping $2.25 trillion, serving as a lucrative foundation for continual growth among ridesharing competitors. Get additional details from Reuters.

India Ridesharing App, Ola, Raises $500 Million at a $5 Billion Valuation
Ola, the Indian taxi app used in more than 102 cities, has taken on another $500 million in funding in a Series F round. As Ola’s service has grown 30-fold over the past year, the company has raised $1.4 billion from investors to date, contributing to an overall $5 billion company valuation. Ola completes close to one million rides per day in 350,000 vehicles and plans to use its new capital to further accelerate its growth in the Indian market, according to TechCrunch. Ola’s growth will further combat Uber’s India-based business, where Uber recently allocated $1 billion and logs 250,000 rides per day in 22 cities. The global ridesharing market is heating up as companies like Ola strive to create seamless, encompassing mobile experiences that fit customer lifestyle needs. Ola’s experiences include not only its taxi-hailing app, but also social group carpooling and mobile wallets. Read more from TechCrunch.

Image from Airbnb Open


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