Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have a knack for taking a specific feature or vertical from a general-purpose website and turning it into a startup.
For example, entrepreneurs have taken every section of Craigslist—community, dating, home services, housing, forums— and turned them into billion dollar startups —Nextdoor, Tinder, Thumbtack, Zillow, Reddit. Craigslist, which only has 50 employees, did ~$1B in revenue last year, likely making it the most leveraged web property in the world.
Airbnb, now valued at over $25B, is spawning a bunch of its own vertical-specific startups, some of which have just reached unicorn status.
The most successful of these Airbnb-inspired startups offer a more hotel-like experience, catering toward travelers who crave the uniqueness and authenticity of an Airbnb with the consistency of a hotel.
The most prominent player in this space is Sonder, which just raised $210M at a $1B+ valuation. And it's not alone: Lyric (raised $160M in 2019), Domio (raised $100M), and Blueground (raised $50M) are all working on some variant of curated short-term rentals.
Then there's outdoor property rentals. Hipcamp and Glamping Hub focus on camping and "glamping" arrangements, with properties ranging from basic tents and teepees all the way to refurbished airplanes and private caves. Others, such as Indie Campers and Boatbound, provide guests with campers and boats for their own outdoor adventures.
All in all, the unbundling of Airbnb is a win. Consumers have more choice in vacation properties than ever. And it's likely that the new spinouts will spawn another generation of unicorn housing startups.
Uber is reaching deeper into the public transportation space with the acquisition of Routematch, an Atlanta-based company that provides technology services to transit agencies. The ride-hailing giant recently announced its first software-as-service (SaaS) partnership to integrate on-demand public transportation with its app, starting with a bus agency based in Marin County, California.
Doctor On Demand announced a $75 million Series D led by private equity firm General Atlantic. The company, founded in 2012 by Phil McGraw (a.k.a. "Dr. Phil"), has transformed from a website and app for urgent care visits into a virtual primary and mental health care platform that employs more than 700 doctors and has completed over 3 million patient visits. The capital raised from this funding round will help Doctor on Demand expand mental health services to accommodate an increase of patients suffering from pandemic-related stress, anxiety, and depression.
Skydio, a company that builds autonomous drones, revealed it raised $100 million, bringing its total raised to $170 million. Skydio also unveiled a new family of drones. The company plans to use the new funding to accelerate product development and go-to-market expansion in enterprise and public sector markets.
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