In the gauzy parlance of corporate tech, it is an “end-to-end” travel platform that “combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place.” But in becoming that, it has moved further and further away from the thing it was when its founders started it - literally, with air mattresses.

These days Airbnb is regularly accused of being too “professionalized,” or riddled with commercially-motivated operators running informal hotels (some of them in compliance with city regulations, some very much not). These hosts rarely interact with guests, the critique goes, and are far from providing the ideal of a “live like a local”experience that Airbnb itself popularized.