In 2007, a hotel room shortage in San Francisco prompted two roommates to create a website to rent out air mattresses in their apartment. Less than eight years later, the company they founded, Airbnb, has been valued at more than $25 billion. ["Value of Airbnb Hits $25.5 Billion with Latest Round," The Wall Street Journal (June 29, 2015).] The success of Airbnb is mirrored in other "peer-to-peer" startups, such as Uber, Lyft, and HomeAway, which are capitalizing on technological advances that have allowed the creation of platforms to directly connect buyers and sellers.
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