In the last twelve months alone, Airbnb has more than doubled in size in Africa. Today, its CEO Brian Chesky will attend GES 2015 to meet with entrepreneurs from around the world and explore the sharing economy’s impact and expansion, particularly on the African continent - which represents a huge opportunity for the company.
Brian Chesky said, “I’m thrilled to meet so many entrepreneurs here at GES who will build and grow this community throughout Africa. And I’m excited to see how Airbnb will empower people across the continent to make extra income while providing travelers with a truly authentic experience.”
In just the last year, Airbnb’s number of listings in Africa has more than doubled, the number of people staying in Airbnb listings in the region has increased by 145%, and the number of Africans using Airbnb to travel has increased by 139%.
At the GES 2015, he will participate in a roundtable as well as a discussion with Steve Case on “Getting Ready for Growth,” and lead a Challenge Hack on the sharing economy.
As a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), Chesky’s signature initiative has been supporting the growth of entrepreneurship in Cuba, where Airbnb launched in April and which has already become its fastest growing market.
Many of the steps taken in Cuba to overcome challenges around internet literacy and mobile payment infrastructure will provide important lessons for Airbnb’s growth in Africa. This week’s trip, which includes a visit to the iHub incubator in Nairobi, is also an opportunity to hear from local entrepreneurs, and understand the opportunities and challenges facing Airbnb and other sharing economy leaders.
In the wake of strong successes in key markets around the world, Airbnb plans to significantly grow its business in Africa, where the company has already seen some impressive growth.