10 Reasons Why Startups Choose Airbnb Clone Over Building From Scratch

Airbnb has revolutionized the hospitality industry by introducing the concept of experience sharing through its online platform. Inspired by its success, many startups want to enter this new marketplace by developing their own rental listing portal. However, instead of building the site from ground up, they are opting to leverage Zipprr ready-to-use Airbnb clone script. In this article, we will explore top 10 reasons why startups are favoring clone platforms over creating one from scratch.

1. It Saves Significant Development Time and Costs

Building a complex platform like Airbnb requires huge development effort spanning several months. The site needs to handle complex functionalities like property listings, advanced search filters, calendar integrations, payments, bookings and much more under one roof. Developing all these elements from the beginning needs a team of 50-100 developers and can cost millions of dollars.

In contrast, Airbnb clones offer out-of-box solutions that are ready to launch within 4-6 weeks with just 5-10 developers. They provide pre-integrated modules for core functionalities so startups don’t need to spend on R&D. With ready backend, front-end and mobile apps available, clones can reduce 70-80% development time compared to ground-up approach.

This saves a huge amount in initial set-up costs which is critical for seed-stage startups with limited funding. They can focus capital on customer acquisition and marketing in initial months instead of spending on product development.

2. It Reduces Technical Challenges

Building complex web apps from scratch poses numerous technical challenges – from integrating secure payments to designing location search algorithms. These difficulties slow down development significantly.

With clones, founders can avoid struggling with such complex problems as solutions are already implemented. Issues like –

  • Payments Integration: Clones have payment gateways pre-integrated removing the headache.
  • Advanced Search: Location-based filters, calendar views, price sliders etc are built-in eliminating months of coding.
  • Bookings Management: Complex booking workflows, automatic confirmations, invoices are pain-points addressed already.

By reducing technical roadblocks, startups can stay focused on business priorities from day one without worrying about core site functionalities. This gives them a strong foundation to iterate based on user needs.

3. It Requires Low Maintenance Efforts

Once the cloned platform is launched, founders assume it requires no further coding efforts. However, maintaining any web product involves continual upgrades to fix bugs and add improvements.

With Airbnb clones, technical maintenance is minimized. The platform providers keep releasing frequent updates to patch vulnerabilities, upgrade APIs/plugins. They optimize performance, enhance UX/UI based on latest technologies.

This ensures the core platform remains robust with each release. Founders don’t need to invest further in hiring full-time developers for maintenance. They can rely on the clone vendor’s dedicated developer pool to provide seamless support.

This allows startups to dedicate their limited engineering resources on building unique features important for business rather than routine fixes and updates. Overall operations and support costs are considerably low.

4. It Allows High Customization

While clones provide a ready design and features out of the box, they also give flexibility to customize as per unique business needs. Founders can modify:

  • Templates and Styles: Change colors, logos and design elements.
  • Core Modules: Add/remove specific sections like reviews, amenities etc.
  • New Plugins: Leverage plugins marketplace to incorporate new services fast.
  • Database Entries: Configure properties, users, services as per local requirements.
  • Backend Logic: Modify search, payment processing workflows with APIs.

This optimizes the shared platform for distinctive brand image and vision. Startups get an adaptive solution without starting from blank canvas.

5. Built-in Marketing and Growth Tools

Expanding userbase through performance marketing is equally critical for any startup. Luckily, clones integrate various growth tools to attract tenants and hosts:

  • SEO: XML sitemaps, tag management optimize organic discovery.
  • Social Sharing: Share buttons boost engagement across networks.
  • Email Marketing: Automated campaigns to re-engage past users.
  • Ads Management: Integrations for Facebook, Google ads to boost ROI.
  • Analytics: Detailed reports on traffic, conversions, goals to optimize strategies.
  • Affiliate Program: Revenue sharing model to expand listings database.

By leveraging these features, founders can concentrate on campaigns rather than engineering separate solutions from ground up. This supercharges their user acquisition from initial months itself.

6. It Ensures Smoother Operations

Once a property is listed, hundreds of small operational activities need streamlined management like:

  • Calendar Updates: Syncing availabilities across channels.
  • Payments Tracking: Automated remits and invoice reminders.
  • Customer Support: Centrally addressing common queries.
  • House Rules: Standardized policies across rentals.
  • Dispute handling: Automated escalation workflows.
  • Reviews Curation: Maintaining feedback section.

Airbnb clones have pre-built solutions to handle such regular activities efficiently at scale. Founders can concentrate on onboarding more hosts/travelers instead of getting entangled in routine tasks. This improves overall customer experience from day one.

7. It Allows Fast Global Expansion

Most successful startups eventually look at expanding their footprint internationally. But going global from scratch requires launching separate country-specific websites involving additional development cycles.

With clones, founders get an easy option for multi-city, multi-country rollout. Major clones offer:

  • Separate Domains – Launch individual sites based on location.
  • Currency Converter – Support bookings in local tenders seamlessly.
  • Language Packs – Translate interface for local audiences.
  • Tax Calculation – Comply with taxation rules of regions.
  • Localization – Adapt designs as per cultural preferences.

This plug-and-play approach helps startups pilot new markets simultaneously by replicating the proven core system globally at low costs, accelerating their pace of overseas expansion.

8. Access to Larger Developer Networks

Building a platform involves constant support needs from technical assistance to latest API integrations. But startups might lack a dedicated team for this in initial phases.

Here, clones excel by providing easy access to active developer communities to help founders out:

  • Forums: Connect founders raising issues to expert developers.
  • Documentation: Detailed guides to understand clone architecture.
  • Plugins: Thousands of extensions developed by network to add new features.
  • Consultation: Paid support packages for complex customization requests.

Being part of a large ecosystem means any technical gap can easily get addressed even with outsourced freelance solutions. This further reduces dependency on in-house coding teams.

9. Makes Business Flexible for Future

Hospitality industry is changing rapidly with new ways of experiences, alternative accommodations gaining traction. For founders, it’s difficult to foresee opportunities 5 years down the line while starting from scratch.

Clones provide a future-proofed platform to nimbly adapt business models as market evolves:

  • Experiences: A simple plugin adds activities, tours, classes vertical.
  • Homestays: Modify filters to list small properties, farmhouses in urban areas.
  • Hotels: New room types, pricing models included with modular upgrades.
  • Coworking: Office/desk listings integrated via latest version upgrades.

So if trends demand pivots, cloned startups can shift focus within weeks by configuring available tools rather than reworking technical foundations from beginning.

10. Attractive Acquisition Prospects

Building top industry platform also comes with an opportunity to eventually sell the rapidly growing business at good valuations.

Airbnb acquired its top three clones – Wimdu, Wheelhouse and OtherHome for millions at early stages only. This created a strong precedence for further acquisitions in travel tech space:

  • Booking acquired Homelike – German Airbnb clone for $70M in 2017.
  • Agoda acquired local rental site OnlineBedandBreakfast in Japan in 2020.
  • OLX acquired real estate site Realoid in Indonesia for $50M in 2021

Considering potential high valuations on exits, leveraging clones gives founders a proven path to build valuable businesses in 4-5 years. This motivates many entrepreneurs to begin operations on ready platforms.


In summary, Airbnb’s unprecedented growth inspired many startups. However, developing complex sites like Airbnb using Next.JS from ground up requires massive investments with no guarantees. Leveraging ready-made clone scripts has now emerged as a safer option allowing founders to concentrate on business priorities.

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