Gang wrote a piece last week speculating a number of Airbnb clones starting in China. Rumors have been circulating that, the Samwer brothers, who are responsible for Groupon in Germany and Gaopeng in China would be the front-runners in the Airbnb clone race. Today Airizu, has come out first, but the only visible link to the Sandberg brothers is the image saying “”Will soon be featured on Gaopeng.com”
From their website, Airzu says it is an “open online rental-transaction platform, where people who have space to spare can connect with those who are looking for a place to stay. No matter if it’s an urban or suburb apartment, single room or suite, hostel or homehotel, boutique hotel or LOFT, AIRIZU makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere.”
The most obvious and unsurprising thing to note, is that if you open Airzu.com and Airbnb.com, it’s just like flicking through a comic strip where only one tiny thing changes at a time and that is the logo at the top left. It is also amusing to see them say the concept of “short-term” rentals has been featured on CNN.com, New York Times and Sina.
Per the Airizu Linkedin page, it currently has 51-200 employees and was co-founded by Alex Z, a Stanford graduate and founder of various companies such as Axial Fashion Inc, Juno Bridal and Coral Sea Vineyard. The only other person in the company with a filled out profile is Cory Z, who is a Beijing Institute of Technology graduate and now the Sales and Marketing Director of Airizu.
With the official Airbnb becoming widely popular now in America and spreading across the globe through their Airscout program (contract sales roles), it will be a tough fight in China. But I think Airizu, like many other localized Chinese businesses, will have the advantage of a local team and knowledge in the domestic market. However, expanding internationally will be a much tougher job for them compared to the Airbnb business.