Community-driven hospitality e-commerce site Airbnb is to create 100 jobs in Dublin, doubling the size of the operation to 200 people.
Brian Chesky, co-founder and chief executive officer of Airbnb, recounted how a group of friends initially set up the company in a San Francisco, California, apartment. They had no money and wanted to establish a B&B, but all they had was an air mattress. And thus Airbnb was born.
“We came to Dublin because it has hospitality in its DNA and I’ve been so inspired by the culture we’ve already created in our office here. We have an amazing home in Dublin from which we’re supporting our community across Europe and I can’t wait to welcome another 100 people to join us,” Chesky said.
Airbnb announced last year its intention to establish a customer service and hospitality hub in Dublin. The objective is to bring together all teams working on every aspect of the guest and host experience in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The new Hospitality Lab will develop an educational curriculum for Airbnb hospitality, consisting of offline workshops, online webinars and hospitality tips.
Airbnb was recently valued at US$10bn when it closed a US$500m funding round.
Responding to questions from Siliconrepublic.com, Chesky said the roles will initially be centred on two areas: customer safety and customer service.
“Eventually, we will have a lot of pan-European roles, including HR, finance, technology and legal. I would imagine every function of the company will be here,” Chesky said.
Aisling Hassell joined the company in February to lead the Dublin office and to also be in charge of Airbnb’s customer service operations in EMEA. Hassell joins Airbnb from Sage, where she was director of global customer experience and web strategy. She has also held senior customer experience roles at both Vodafone and Symantec.
A warm welcome
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland is the perfect location for Airbnb’s European hub, as the country has been recognised as being the best country in the world for business, matched with a world-renowned reputation for tourism.
“I am delighted to welcome the creation of 100 new jobs as Airbnb put down roots in Dublin. Young Irish people will be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit behind the Airbnb story and the potential that can be realised through combining a great idea with ambition and hard work,” Kenny added.
“The Government, through the Action Plan for Jobs, wants to build on the 61,000 new jobs created last year by supporting entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs, as well as continuing a strong line of foreign direct investment. I thank Airbnb for today’s significant announcement and wish them well as they continue to grow and expand in Ireland.”
U2 lead singer Bono, who recently met with Airbnb at an IDA event in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year said, “We of course measure the recovery by jobs, that’s all that matters – that our best and brightest do not have to leave to get work.
“So Airbnb’s arrival in Dublin Docks is very good news. The IDA’s encouragement of Airbnb moving to the docks was paramount in Brian Chesky’s decision to move there, so congratulations to them. Brian and Airbnb are a force to be reckoned with, and tech companies like these are training grounds for a smart and savvy workforce like ours.”