The latest numbers out of Airbnb lead us to believe that the service, which helps people rent out their homes as hotels, has overcome the reputation it developed over the summer as the type of business that lets drug addicts and slobs ruin houses. As the graph above -- via a detailed (and confusing) infographic --shows, the company has grown dramatically, booking over 4 million rooms in the last 12 months alone. Just six months ago, it didn't look certain that the company would make it out of a PR firestorm following a slew of Airbnb horror stories.
Last August, multiple users chronicled their bad experiences with the company, including a man, whose guests left meth pipes among other detritus in his trashed home. "In addition to valuables stolen, the thieves/addicts did thousands of dollars of bizarre damage to my rented home and left it littered with meth pipes," began Airbnb user Troy Dayton's tale, as told to TechCrunch. Since then, AirbnB not only apologized, but also changed its safety policies, providing more protections for those renting out their abodes, including a $50,000 renter's insurance.
Looks like that gesture fixed their reputation right back up. Not only have rentals shot-up, the company has raised $112 million, valuing themselves at $1 billion. As for that $50,000 renter's guarantee, it looks like the idea of it alone satisfied Airbnb's community, which works out well for Airbnb. A spokesperson wouldn't disclose to AllThingsD's Tricia Duryee the number of claims that have been submitted for the guarantee, but said that it was lower than they expected. Clearly people trust the service enough to not even think about applying for this safety precaution. "We think this is a testament to the quality and caliber of our community," Airbnb told Duryee. Putting its drugs and debris past behind it, Airbnb is opening six new offices in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, Moscow, Paris, and São Paulo .