Bellhops and Whistles

No one should have to wear a hat like that.

6 Startups Who Make Airbnb Even Better

For renters or homeowners looking to make a quick buck, Airbnb is such a godsend that it’s easy to overlook what a pain in the ass the process can be. Thankfully, it turns out a lot of entrepreneurs have taken notice.

An entire ecosystem of startups is growing up around Airbnb, as well as similar services like VRBOHomeaway, and Flipkey, offering to make the process of turning over your keys to a complete stranger a lot easier and, perhaps, a little safer.

San Francisco’s Airenvy will list users’ apartments on multiple sites, manage communication with guests, and arrange payments for a 1% cut of the cost. For those in SF and Napa, the company also offers professional cleaners and provides linens and towels for an additional cost.

Beyond Stays, also based out of SF, offers similar services to Airenvy. But Beyond Stays just might be their killer app – the platform tracks local events, flight data, and more to perfectly price a rental for maximum revenue.

And that’s barely scratching the surface of the Airbnb helpers. Tel Aviv-based Guesty, née Superhost, offers similar concierge service in the US, UK, Australia, and Israel.

Keycafe lets users in the Pacific Northwest keep their keys at a local café, sparing the logistical nightmare of arranging an exchange. And Urban Bellhop will welcome your guest at the door, offer a tour of the place, and direct them to local amenities.

Now go forth (and kick back).

Nitty Gritty:

11M+: # of Airbnb guests since launching in 2007

190: # of countries Airbnb is currently offered

3/21/2014: Date the WSJ reported the company is in talks to raise an additional $400 to $500 million