Airbnb – is it under the cosh, on the rack after being called out for paying too little tax (giving it an unfair advantage over those ancient buildings called “hotels” (remember them?) we used to stay in at great expense – or is it just getting started – Airsorted, which has just raised a £1.5m seed round, must be hoping it’s the latter.
Airsorted are a London based tech “disruptor” who provide a concierge service for those of us looking to rent our homes, or rooms using Airbnb’s platform.
It can be a fiddly, frustrating process uploading your property details to Airbnb, setting the rates, adding the photos and only realising you needed to switch off instant book and add some house rules when a party of 30 book your one-bed for an impromptu rave – in your kitchen.
Airsorted do all this – and more – for you, for a small chunk of your earnings. According to Tech Crunch, the start-up is already managing more than 1,000 homes, a 400% increase in the past six months alone.
Backing Airsorted to the tune of £1.5m are Concentric, 500 Start-ups and London based prop-tech accelerator / investor Pi Labs – which helped incubate Airsorted.
“We do everything we can to increase the value of the listing — price optimisations and building processes to ensure guests enjoy the stay, etc. — so that our hosts earn as much as possible,” Airsorted founder James Jenkins-Yates says.
Airsorted have launched in 3 cities in a little under 2 years; London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, and they fancy a crack at Europe.
This kind of digital platform – that riffs off of another disruptive platform – in this case one that thoroughly deserves its reputation as a disruptor – some might even call it a trouble-maker a la Uber – in Airbnb, seems rather meta.
And perhaps a touch ironic too, like hiring an independent estate agent to sell your home using a “no agent” website, but hey, if the demand is there.
At the end of the day, perhaps more than anybody, it will be the tax-man who decides if Airbnb have been pulling a fast one – and if the start-up whale is harpooned, the pilot fish are in trouble.
But it’s a big, blubbery whale, and it’s far from beached yet.