Jeff Bezos is doubling down on the Airbnb game

Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos made an early bet on the short-term rental platform Airbnb Inc during the company’s Series B round in 2011, nearly a decade before its initial public offering (IPO).

His investment came long before the increasingly popular lodging market became a household name and a common term used to describe almost any short-term rental.

It’s unclear exactly how much Bezos benefited from his pre-IPO investment in Airbnb, but it’s clear the billionaire investor had incredible insight into where the vacation rental market was headed.

More recently, Bezos’ investment activity suggests he’s looking to capitalize on the other side of the vacation rental business — real estate investing.

Bezos was one of several high-profile investors involved Homes arrivedArrived Homes is a real estate investment platform that allows private investors to become fractional owners of single-family rental properties with an investment of $100 to $10,000.

Less than a year later, Bezos made an additional investment in Arrived Homes’ $25 million round, shortly before the company publicly announced it would expand its offerings to include short-term rental properties.

The company yesterday launched the first fractional vacation rental on the platform, which was fully funded in less than 30 minutes. Six more properties are expected to go live today, including a four-bedroom house in Joshua Tree, California, and homes in Arizona, Georgia and Florida.

However, new investors may struggle to buy shares of the first batch of vacation rentals, considering how quickly Arrived Homes funds single-family properties on its platform. Existing investors have been the first to access new offerings and the same will likely be true when the rest of the short-term rental investments go live.

Short term rental market

Bezos’ renewed bet on the short-term rental market looks promising for the tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. Airbnb reported its highest earnings in the second quarter of 2022 and the highest quarter ever of 103.7 million booking nights. Quarterly overnight stays were up 25% year over year and average daily rates were up 1.7%.

With an average daily rate of $164, it’s no wonder short-term rentals are becoming such a popular asset class among investors. According to research by Arrived Homes, vacation rentals generate up to 130% more revenue on average than traditional long-term rentals.

Browse fractional real estate investing at Benzinga Real Estate Offer Screen and find investment opportunities that match your criteria.

Photo by lev radin on Shutterstock

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