22 Jan Tom Caton – Airdna co-founder #TeamsInBeta – Betahaus
AIRDNA CO-COFOUNDER #TEAMSINBETA
We interviewed Tom Caton, Airdna co-founder. Tom is originally from England but started drifting around the globe soon after university. He lived in Osaka, Munich, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles and now Barcelona. He has also an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. Tom recently joined among his team to our brand new Team Rooms. Q
Tom, what’s Airdna?
A Airdna is trying to become the world leading authority on vacation rental listings. We have some nice technology we developed that picks up nearly a billion data points on vacation rentals around the world every day. We then share this with the curious, from wannabe hosts up to hotel groups and hedge funds and many people in between. We are 4 partners – 3 old friends and one of their Dads. The others are all working away in California on the tech side, I am here in Barcelona trying to sell our intelligence to the world. We started last April and have had a little success and some nice coverage.Q
How the idea come from?
A We had all been Airbnb hosts and saw the crazy money people could make and thought there would be a gold rush around this new impact on real estate and hotels. I had a place in London. Scott (the CEO) had a few in Santa Monica and we could see that the returns were outstanding. Instead of rolling the dice and getting more, we decided to sell shovels in this gold rush, rather than go out prospecting in the muddy rivers! “Hire the best athletes and they will learn new sports quickly” Q
How many people are in the Airdna team and who are they? Wich kind of profile you like to have in your team?
A We are 3 in California and 5 in Barcelona. The tech team sit there and the revenue people sit here. When we hired here, we looked for people who we could see selling, but could grow with the company and do whatever was necessary in the future. My CEO said ‘hire the best athletes and they will learn new sports quickly’Q
A A complete accident. I had to leave the US for a short time for visa reasons, and instead of spending 6 weeks in my family home in London, or bankrupting myself with a London sublet, I looked for where I could get cheap flights to for 6 weeks. Enter Barcelona stage left. And like so many people, I liked it so I stayed! We needed a European presence also and with Trump et al threatening to put foreigners straight into Guantanamo- America was not looking like a great place to be a foreigner!Q
And… why Betahaus?
AI wanted a co-working space and Beta is so authentic! I didn’t want a sterile boring office – I have spent my life in those. It has character and bonhomie like no other place I’ve worked in! Q
And… why Betahaus?
AI wanted a co-working space and Beta is so authentic! I didn’t want a sterile boring office – I have spent my life in those. It has character and bonhomie like no other place I’ve worked in!Q
How do you think that being part of the Betahaus Family can be positive for the development of your startup and your team?
A Firstly, I see the culture of betahaus being amazing for staff engagement and happiness. We could have got a private office and be bored of the sight of each other very quickly!Secondly, the supportive community is a huge asset. I hired one Beta (thanks Saskia!) to hire the rest of my team!Q
And finally, I’m obligated to ask you. You’re the only man surrounded by a only women team. How does it feels?
AIt feels like I need more male friends in betahaus! “I wanted a co-working space and Beta is so authentic! It has character and bonhomie like no other place I’ve worked in!”