This Week’s Best In Beta
Which startup is going to be the next big thing? Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share some of the hottest new startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together!
Admittedly, I typically spend very little time in the room where I’m staying when I travel. Simple lodging works for me. I appreciate all the perks and pampering luxurious hotels offer, but I usually go for the best deal. As you might guess, I’m a huge fan of Airbnb.
I also love companies like HotelTonight, that make finding last-minute deals easy. I mention them, because, if you’re familiar, you’ll immediately get why Instabed is a brilliant concept (although maybe not the name: it competes with a lot of mattress sellers).
Instabed curates last-minute deals on Airbnb. So, if you find yourself stuck in town or wanting to go somewhere at the last minute, but don’t want to splurge for a hotel… you can find discounted Airbnb listings. It’s like HotelTonight for hotel deals, but for Airbnb rooms.
Smart application of a smart application in a new market.
I have to say, as much as I love Airbnb, I fear its popularity has made it less of a bargain. Recently I was looking for a room in New Orleans for family members due to visit soon, and I was hard pressed to find deals underneath average hotel pricing, making it difficult to justify using them (and making me look crazy for singing their praises to family).
Instabed arrives as a welcome option for finding last-minute affordable rooms. Helps travelers save money, helps hosts fill up empty rooms: it’s a great model. We’ll all be eagerly waiting for them to roll out the welcome mat beyond San Fran – and to hear if the process of booking on Airbnb then sending receipt screenshots to Instabed for gift cards works well.