1 April 2012
Luna Tractor has been leaked advance details of the hottest new internet property to emerge from The Y-Axis, Melbourne’s most successful incubator and startup investor, proof positive of the benefits flowing from one of the nation’s first NBN hotspots in Brunswick.
“Airbnb were so conservative, they never really showed signs of being brave enough to take their platform to its logical limits” say the Airbed.com founders in their embargoed press release. “It’s all very well letting out your front room, or your sister’s apartment while she is away for the
weekend, and saying how cool and social it will be – but we all know what that really means for travellers! It’s about the bed as a social platform, stupid!”
It follows then that Airbed.com will be far more ‘mocoloso’ (mobile-cool-local-social) as a platform than any of its competitors. Mocoloso was the key term being used by the VC Community at this years SXSW trans-media conference somewhere in the USA, which none of the airbed.com founders could actually find, but they have been to America.
Slavishly following the Eric Ries ‘Lean Startup’ model, Airbed.com operate 100% in the cloud with virtually no servers, no software (“code is SO last Thursday” says the CEO), use an agile methodology, and focus heavily on the use of RESTful APIs. “Soap APIs were frightening off some of the bohemian clients from the Northside in our user trials” says the airbed.com CEO in the leaked release.
The startup team has ‘pivoted’ once already – their first website was called airbnd.com, a social travel guide that enabled travellers to locate and access B&D (bondage and discipline) services. “We ran into the iTunes store, and some silly issues over the logo, so we pivoted immediately.”
When asked about the obvious similarities to established Californian social travel business airbnb, the founders countered quickly: “this is the Y-Axis incubator’s innovation secret sauce – we’re fast followers. Mostly we like to copy people’s websites and use Powerpoint to cut and paste new logos and stuff over the top of old ones.”
“We saw the US dot com industry was now just duplicating 37Signal’s website as a standard business model. We tried that of course – but our Macs have had all the fonts deleted apart from Helvetica, which led us to airbnb’s site – they truly understand design in the Brunswick sense”.
There are already mature interfaces to
travel social dating services like Grindr, and strong rumours of a 4Square API in the summer. “Essentially, airbed.com have totally out-localled the specialists with this offer” says internet commentator Buzz Reilly. “A room? That is yesterday’s business model – nothing could be more local than a bed. With a local in it, preferably”.
The iPhone app is planned to be in store in the next few weeks, with ‘epic’ new interfaces to accommodate its use when intoxicated. There are also strong rumours of a corporate platform being developed, though the rumoured partnership with Blackberry have been scotched by commentators. The likelihood of any of the airbed.com services catching virally is considered extremely high according to their PR Agency.
Airbed.com are looking to raise around $20m for Series B, having begun their business using only the Burger King sponsored free wifi on the 86 Tram and two iPads, occasionally having to get off to avoid MYKI inspectors and to source long macs.
“Actually, we were hoping for a big mezzanine, but some douche put it on airbnb.com, some Japanese college students booked it, and there was no room for us” notes the disappointed airbed.com CFO and founder.