Startups Weekly: Airbnb’s growing pains

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Uber’s new “money” team. Before that, I told you about how SoftBank is screwing up.

Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to [email protected] or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here.


Brian Chesky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Airbnb Inc. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Airbnb’s growing up

Following the death of five people at a Halloween party hosted at a California Airbnb rental, and a scathing Vice report outlining Airbnb’s failure to prevent nation-wide scams, the company says it will begin verifying all seven million of its listings.

Airbnb properties will soon be verified for accuracy of photos, addresses, listing details, cleanliness, safety and basic home amenities, according to a company-wide email sent by Airbnb co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky on Wednesday. All rentals that meet the company’s new standards will be “clearly labeled” by December 15, 2020, he notes. Beginning next month, Airbnb will rebook or refund guests who check into rentals that do not meet the new accuracy standards.

These changes, outlined fully here, come as Airbnb preps for an IPO or a direct listing slated for 2020. The company was in need of some serious additions to its barely-there security measures and it also needed to make a grand gesture (or two) to Wall Street following multiple PR disasters over the last two weeks. Airbnb’s response to the recently-highlighted problems will help determine how it fares on the public market and given its quick and seemingly comprehensive response, money managers may be pleased.


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TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2017 in Berlin on 5 December 2017. ImageXDante for TechCrunch

Meet me in Berlin

The TechCrunch team is heading to Berlin again this year for our annual event, TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, which brings together entrepreneurs and investors from across the globe. We announced the agenda this week, with leading founders including Away’s Jen Rubio and UiPath’s Daniel Dines. Take a look at the full agenda.

I will be there to interview a bunch of venture capitalists, who will give tips on how to raise your first euros. Buy tickets to the event here.


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