Airbnb is on the hunt for the world’s craziest spaces — and will help foot the bill to build them. Whether it’s the next boot, UFO house or giant potato, the first-of-its-size US$10,000,000 (approximately RM44,000,000) OMG! Fund is seeking ideas from existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from around the globe. The fund’s US$10 million will help finance 100 of the craziest ideas, giving 100 people an opportunity to turn them into actual Airbnb OMG! Category listings, are Airbnb’s collection of the most unique homes.
Starting today, anyone with an out-of-this-world idea can submit an application at airbnb.com/omgfund. One hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive US$100,000* (approximately RM440,000) each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Ideas will be judged by an expert panel for their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability.
The fund is shaped in part by the growing trend of flexible living that has emerged in the past two years. As part of this shift, Airbnb guests are craving more unexpected spaces that become the destinations themselves, and Airbnb Categories, which launched last month, provide a new way to search for these spaces. More than 30,000 unique listings across the world were added to Airbnb in 2021 and the OMG! Category – which has one of the highest rates of engagement among guests browsing Airbnb – showcases the craziest amongst them, making it easy for guests to discover these listings in places they wouldn’t have otherwise looked.
Hosting on Airbnb provides powerful economic benefits to Hosts. In 2021, all Hosts total earnings in Malaysia reached US$43.3 million (RM190.5 million). Additionally, nights booked at unique properties increased globally by over 49% from 2019 to 2021.
“When the Idaho Potato Commission retired a six-ton prop potato, I took it off their hands and spent $32,000 transforming it into an Airbnb,” Airbnb Superhost OMG! Fund judging panellist Kristie Wolfe said. “I went from making $13/hr to seeing $208,000** in earnings in less than three years, and leveraged that income to bootstrap my way through additional listings that allow me to express my creativity and connect with hundreds of people in the process.”
Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of boundary-pushing design authorities, an architectural expert, and an Airbnb OMG! Category Superhost:
- Iris Apfel, an incomparable and irreverent centenarian style icon
- Koichi Takada, founder of Sydney-based international studio Koichi Takada Architects, is known for emotive design inspired by the natural world
- Kristie Wolfe, Airbnb Superhost and prolific creator of OMG! Listings include the Potato Hotel, Crystal Peak Lookout, Big Island Treehouse and the forthcoming Shipwreck House
- Bruce Vaughn, Disney alum and Airbnb’s VP of Experiential Creative Product
The USD $10,000,000 OMG! Fund opens today for a period of 30 days, through 22 July 2022 at 11:59 pm ET / 23 July 2022 at 11:59 am MYT (Malaysia Standard Time). The 100 fund recipients will be selected by the panel over the next several months, with the intent of having their newly-constructed spaces complete next year.
*For more information, including a list of eligible countries, see the Official Rules.
**Kristie Wolfe’s income represents Airbnb earnings from January 2019 to 31st May 2022. Like Kristie, every Host’s experience hosting is unique. Host earnings vary widely depending on many factors, including availability, price, acceptance and cancellation rates, occupancy rate and the demand in the listing location. Globally, the median earnings for an OMG! Category Host active between Jan 2018 and May 2022 was just over $48,000.
Unique listings are defined by Hosts, these include but are not limited to; treehouse, yurt, barn, boat, castle, campsite, hut, island, plane, shepherds hut, train, treehouse, windmill, yurt, etc.