The BEE pre-sale on 2nd January closed within 5 minutes of opening. On the face of it, BEE’s business plan looks like what might be described as a tokenised version of Airbnb on a blockchain.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take very long to understand that the concept of marketplace platforms like Airbnb and Uber may not make for perfect blockchain fits.
Competing on Price
Airbnb generates about a billion dollars in revenue every quarter. The amount of cash flowing through their network is estimated to be around five times that same amount.
BEE is aiming, then, to position itself within a lucrative market. Hoping to raise $15 million in total, the startup believes that this may just be enough to take on the market leader whose current equity valuation comes in at $30 billion.
The catch of course is that Airbnb already has millions of customers and a very strong brand. BEE’s strongest argument is price. Airbnb charge both the host and the guest 10 percent of the price of a night’s accommodation. That means BEE’s hosts can potentially pitch themselves 20 percent below Airbnb’s hosts.
BEE’s leveraging of the blockchain appears entirely opportunistic – like so many token sales coming to market these days – but, if they can pull off the execution, then they may just be able to put a dent into Airbnb’s current market dominance.