Many people know the story of how Airbnb began. The founders started charging $80 a night to rent out part of their San Francisco apartment. What some might not know is that the founders sold novelty cereal boxes in the early funding days to bring in some needed cash.
What Happened: In 2008, the Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) team sold novelty cereal called “Obama O’s” and “Cap’N McCains” during the 2008 presidential election.
Each box, which included cereal inside, had a limited print run of 500 boxes. The company sold out of boxes and even saw celebrities like Perez Hilton and Katy Perry buy the product. Five percent of profits from the boxes sold went to the presidential campaigns.
Public.com recently created 500 limited edition boxes of IPOats to celebrate the upcoming Airbnb IPO. Public created 500 boxes to pay tribute to the startup story.
Why It’s Important: Airbnb started with the simple idea of offering a room to rent to help bring in additional income.
The founders of the company recognized that a conference in the area led to hotel rooms selling out and saw an opportunity to appeal to attendees looking for a last-minute place to stay.
The company also seized an opportunity to sell novelty cereal boxes to help bring in $30,000 to help with operations in the early days.
What’s Next: Airbnb is scheduled to IPO this week. The company recently raised its IPO expected pricing range from $44 to $50 to $56 to $60.
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