The founder of AirAdvance, Jozette Chetwynd-Palmer, said: “Using Airbnb to generate revenue is growing rapidly in South Africa as it joins the rest of the world in the sharing economy. In fact, last year, Airbnb stats show that South Africans hosted over 830000 guests in their homes.”
Findings released during Airbnb's Africa Travel Summit found that South African Airbnb hosts have earned more than R4billion since the platform was founded in 2008. “I put my apartment on Airbnb but found myself cash-strapped when guests made a request for black-out curtains. This sparked my idea for AirAdvance as I realised that being an Airbnb host is more than opening your home, it is also running a small business, and like most small business owners, hosts may occasionally need access to capital,” Chetwyn-Palmer said.
“The major banks in South Africa didn't recognise Airbnb bookings as income, and I realised that this growing market wasn't being served at all. AirAdvance provides financing to hosts based on their Airbnb history and future bookings.”
A host's Airbnb rating and reviews are also taken into consideration when offering them an advance on future bookings. This allows AirAdvance to incorporate a trust metric into their scorecard which helps create a more accurate risk assessment. “Only hosts with reviews are considered,” said Chetwynd-Palmer. “The maximum amount that can be borrowed against a confirmed booking is R50000 per host. The cost of taking an advance on bookings is calculated based on the host’s Airbnb history, future bookings and overall trust score.”