Both Airbnb and Uber have global presence, awesome product design and significant users.
And this is where the similarity between two ends.
We have heard a lot about the common strengths of them, so will be unveiling difference between them and what makes Airbnb way more competitive than Uber
Observation # 1
- Airbnb started slowly on liquidity fund but now keep on rising in multiple markets, while Uber infused with cash started on high and now reporting loses
Observation # 2
- Airbnb offers heterogeneous supply of products – where each property, basis amenities, location, price, policies, design, furniture etc. is unique
- Uber offers homogeneous set of products – They have set of taxis with goal of going from A to B, only variation they can offer within their product is - car size, travel in pool (which helped Uber hit some high)
Combining both -
Marketplace with varied products & services is tough to jump start and maintaing demand-supply balance is tough.
This leads to a lesser competition and with growth of Airbnb supply it gets tougher for competition
With growth in supply, increased return is observed which in turn is used to capture more supply. Thus making them incredibly defensible at scale
They started in 2007 and till this date have single major competitor - Homeaway
In Uber’s case, there homogenous model is less complicated and can be much easier & more capital-efficient to build.
All you need is to cash fund the drivers, bring cars on the road and thus create supply for which demand increases. Here, demand supply problem is easier to match which results in liquidity being improved quickly
Thus making this market far more competent as success recipe is easier in this model leading to some of the fierce battles which Uber faced (Uber vs. Didi in China, Uber vs. Ola in India, Uber vs. Lyft in US)
So far Uber have managed to keep its global presence (barring China) by infusing cash. However with increase in supply, liquidity reduces but once wait times and prices (USP of their supply) stop falling – liquidity will vanish
Looking at Demand-Supply numbers along with Revenues and competitors count, its no brainer that why Airbnb is way more competitive than Uber