Staying With Newfound Friends, for a Fee-- AirBnB (W09) Featured in NYT

Williamsburg, BrooklynMatt Gross for The New York Times Anthony Ina, right, rents his spare bedroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, through AirBnB.com.

In a quiet part of the neighborhood, close enough to late-night hot spots like Pete’s Candy Store but not overrun with foot traffic, I had a clean, bright room to myself in a newly renovated apartment, for which I paid a mere $75 a night. (Less, actually, but I’ll get to that in a minute.)

I found this great bargain through AirBnB.com, a Web site started in 2007 that connects budget travelers with locals who are offering anything from an air mattress in their living room to a private bedroom in a luxury loft — for a fee. It’s a cross between CouchSurfing.org and the vacation rentals section of Craigslist.

There are more than 900 AirBnB listings in New York. Indeed, the site’s strengths are in major cities — 247 listings in the Bay Area and 181 for Paris — but it spans 90 countries in all, so if you need an oceanview apartment in Rio de Janeiro ($170), a pied-à-terre in Shinjuku ($90) or a whole house in rural Ghana ($86), you’re in luck. Just sign up, build a short profile and contact the host with your dates. You pay AirBnB.com with a credit card or PayPal, with a 6 to 12 percent booking fee added on.

Compared with Craigslist, where the short-term rental and vacation listings can be misleading, lacking photos and frankly sketchy, AirBnB is easy and organized. (AirBnB.comwill even offer to send a professional photographer to shoot your apartment.) And compared with CouchSurfing, it at least appears more secure.

Amazing article!

Bump Technologies (S09) Confirms Sequoia Funding, Reveals Roster Of Angels

Over the weekend we wrote about Bump Technologies’ recent funding round led by Sequoia Capital, which was revealed (perhaps accidentally) during Sequoia Partner Greg McAdoo’s presentation at Y Combinator’s Startup School. Bump declined to comment on the round on Saturday, but they’ve now confirmed that the round has just closed. They still wouldn’t confirm the exact amount of the round, but we’ve heard it’s over $3 million.

Bump did disclose the angel investors joining the round, and they’ve got some impressive names on board:

Ram Shriram (Sherpalo Ventures; founding board member at Google)
Ron Conway (SV Angel LLC)
Joshua Schachter (founder, Delicious)
Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures)

Bump CEO David Lieb says that the company plans to use the financing to extend Bump beyond the iPhone (I suspect we’ll see an Android version), and to expand the team.

Bump Technologies image

Website: bumptechnologies.com
Founded: October, 2008
Funding: $3M

Bump Technologies builds mobile applications that allow smartphones to transfer data with very little effort required on the user’s part. Learn More

Information provided by CrunchBase

Congratulations Bump!

Startup School Final Speaker List

We’re getting excited for Startup School on Saturday! We’re sorry we can’t fit everyone who wanted to come, so we wanted to remind everyone that talks will be streamed live on Justin.tv here: http://www.justin.tv/startupschool.

 Here’s the final list of speakers:

Chris Anderson
Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine

Paul Buchheit
Founder, FriendFeed; Creator of GMail

Jason Fried
Founder, 37signals

Paul Graham
Partner, Y Combinator; Founder, Viaweb

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos; Founder, LinkExchange

Mitch Kapor
Partner, Kapor Capital; Founder, Lotus

Greg McAdoo
Partner, Sequoia Capital

Mark Pincus
Founder, Zynga, Tribe, SupportSoft, Freeloader

Biz Stone & Evan Williams
Founders, Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg
Founder, Facebook

Safe travels to everyone coming to Berkeley from around the world.

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