Airbnb launches $10m OMG! Fund for extravagant listing ideas

Worldwide: Airbnb has announced the launch of a $10 million OMG! Fund for existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from around the world to bring their most extravagant listing ideas to life.

The fund will enable 100 people to turn their wacky ideas into real-life Airbnb OMG! category listings, following the announcement of the category’s launch as part of Airbnb’s 2022 Summer Release in May. The category comprises Airbnb’s collection of the most unique or ‘dream’ homes that may never have seemed possible before.

Moving forward, travellers will have more search options than ever on Airbnb, with 56 categories of properties available to filter and view on the platform, ranging from submarines to airships, farms, glamping / camping sites, and beyond.

Guests can filter their dream properties according to their design, location or nearby activities, and broader search terms are being displayed to welcome even more travellers to Airbnb’s community.

As of today, the OMG! Fund will be open to anyone wanting to submit their ideas in an application here by 22 July. The ideas will be assessed by an expert panel of judges according to their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability.

The 100 people fortunate enough to have their ideas selected will each receive $100,000 to make their dream listings a reality on the Airbnb site.

Airbnb says that the move to establish the fund was driven by the growing trend of flexible living that has emerged over the last two years amidst the global pandemic. The company claims that more than 30,000 unique listings around the world were added to its platform in 2021 and that the new OMG! category has been clicked on 2.5 million times since its introduction, highlighting guests’ desire to discover new places that they would not have necessarily looked at previously.

Kristie Wolfe, Airbnb Superhost and OMG! Fund judging panellist, said: “When the Idaho Potato Commission retired a six-ton prop potato, I took it off their hands and spent $32,000 transforming it into an Airbnb. I went from making $13 an hour to seeing $208,000 in earnings in less than three years, and leveraged that income to bootstrap my way through additional listings that allow me to express my creativity and connect with hundreds of people in the process.”

Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of design authorities, an architectural expert, and Wolfe:

  • Iris Apfel, interior and fashion designer
  • Koichi Takada, founder of Sydney-based international studio Koichi Takada Architects
  • Kristie Wolfe, Airbnb Superhost and creator of OMG! Listings
  • Bruce Vaughn, Disney alumnus and VP of experiential creative product at Airbnb

The deadline to submit applications for the OMG! Fund is 11:59pm ET [22 July] / 04:59am BST / 05:59am CET / 1:59pm AEST [23 July]. The 100 fund recipients will be selected by the panel over the coming months with the aim to have their newly-constructed spaces complete next year.

To apply for the fund, follow this link.