A small town in Japan is helping Airbnb evolve its business

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk – the founders of Airbnb – have embarked upon what could be the next stage in the evolution of their online rentals business. They are starting their latest project in a small Japanese town called Yoshino, in the Nara prefecture​.
 

Airbnb is revealing a new division tasked with creating new futures for the company – known as Samara. The company will also be unveiling Samara’s first project: a communal housing project designed to renew a small Japanese town.

After this project is successfully delivered, Airbnb is looking to globally scale its learnings to other towns in decline. Through this initiative Airbnb could be exploring the possibility of playing a major role in urban planning.

"What excites me is that we can apply what we learned over the last eight years to create new types of commerce and new types of social change," said Gebbia, who has spent a lot of time on the project over the past year.
 

Gebbia claimed that the Samara innovation lab will remain a viable part of the business by doubling down Airbnb’s community of users – traditionally where the company derives much of its uniqueness. He said that the company hopes to bring itself even closer to its hosts by encouraging them to use more Airbnb products and services in exchange for financial benefits.  

Read the August issue of Business Review Australia & Asia.

Follow @BizRevAsia and @MrNLon on Twitter.

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SOURCE: [Fast Code Design

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