Airbnb testing waters in India

A small team working out of Gurgaon has built quite an impressive list of locations to rent.

Airbnb is a web-based service that lets you rent a place or find a place for a short duration. If you're attending an event in another city and need an economical place to rent instead of a hotel, Airbnb is where you go. In the US, the service has seen rapid growth. Some statistics shared by Airbnb:

  • they are operational in 192 countries and 19000+ cities
  • more than 5 Million nights booked so far
  • 10 offices in 9 countries

Yesterday, Nikhil Pahwa from MediaNama said Airbnb has started operations in India and has an office in Gurgaon. It was interesting since there was no official word from the company. I asked Airbnb about their Indian operations and was told that they have a small team helping with operations in India but they do not official operations as yet. As of today, you can rent places in 6 Indian cities through Airbnb:

  1. New Delhi (666 locations for rent starting at $10 going to $3000 a night)
  2. Jaipur, Rajasthan (114 locations starting at $10 to $1260 a night)
  3. Mumbai (123 locations, starting from $10 a night for a room to $310 a night for a 4BHK apt)
  4. Chennai (61 locations—$10 to $190)
  5. Bengaluru (131 locations ranging from $10 to $2066 a night)
  6. Goa (305 listings from $13 to $3500)

Goa and Jaipur are popular tourist spots which Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Bengaluru are business hubs. The focus on the six cities seems reasonable and it is possible that result of the pilots in these cities will lead to more listing across India.