Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Samsara
AirBnB Co-Founder Starts Tiny House Business For Homeowners
Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb, believes its success is credited to its focus on design and details. Now Gebbia is on to a new business venture, building tiny homes in backyards.
Samara Builds Tiny Homes
What started as just an innovation studio within Airbnb has now become a company of its own. Samara, started as a department that looked for new ways to create social change along with new products for the company. As Airbnb continued to grow, it began to focus on backyard houses. Tiny homes they could build in your backyard for people to stay in. Now their first product as an independent start-up is a tiny house called Backyard. “As the product progressed, it got to the stage where it just made more sense to be an independent company,” stated Gebbia.
So far, the first two products from Samara will be two different size options of tiny houses. One will be a 430-square-foot studio and the second is a 550-square-foot one-bedroom. Each of these homes was made for multifunctional use. It’s a “flexible dwelling that can adapt to new ways of living,” according to Gebbia. Some might want to use the tiny house as a rental or office space and others could use it as a separate Airbnb.
Efficiency Is The Key
The houses can also generate more electricity than they use. “Our first step toward sustainable energy production is not to use very much,” says co-founder and CEO Mike McNamara. “So, first, we made it tight, really well-engineered, and efficient.” It uses less than half the energy, the company says, of a standard house of the equivalent size. All of the appliances are electric, and the house can run off of a row of solar panels on the roof. An optional second row of solar panels produces extra energy that can be sent back to the main house, helping the homeowners save money.
Not only can the houses produce some income, but they also generate electricity. “Our first step toward sustainable energy production is not to use very much,” says CEO Mike McNamara. “So, first, we made it tight, really well-engineered, and efficient.” The Samara houses use less than half the electricity of a normal house of the same size. And everything inside the house also ran off electricity. There are solar panels added to the roof of the houses and for a fee, they can add a second row to attach to your primary residence. This would help homeowners save money.
The company handles the whole construction process, including surveying and getting permits. “We were focused on trying to eliminate that friction through the design of the entire customer experience,” McNamara says. “And we think that in itself can create a lot more demand.”
With every tiny house, Samara handles all the surveying and permits as well as the construction. “We were focused on trying to eliminate that friction through the design of the entire customer experience,” stated McNamara. “And we think that in itself can create a lot more demand.”
Right now, the houses are selling for $289,000 in Los Angeles. You can reserve a tiny house for $250 on their website now.