Magpie is the barter Airbnb which circumvents the need of cash and other regulatory issues.
We all grew up in Vietnam when it was an embargoed country, and that barrier fueled our desire to hack traveling and see the world. We’ve been to 30 countries combined, thanks to many generous individuals who shared their homes with us.
Because of our experiences, we believe in a world in which humans can deeply connect and truly share with each other not only unique cultures but also worldly belongings at no cost. While there are many sharing platforms, they are highly regulated, complex, impersonal, and costly. We aspire to build Magpie to be a safe and convenient way to swap homes with like-minded travelers and stay anywhere for free.
Our target customer is a traveler who craves both inexpensive accommodations and local connections to people in a foreign destination [there is research on the benefit of connecting with strangers]. Our target customers span: bootstrapping founders, freelancers, digital nomads, students, families with kids or pets, empty nesters.
In the future, the key features that help shape our difference are communication flow and matching algorithm. Users will always find it easy to go through a swap thanks to the wizard-style communication flow. The app will walk users through the lengthy and complicated process of swapping, and make sure they feel right at home with the Welcome Kit. Besides, we make sure to surface the listings and people that users find interesting. We are building a robust backend to support the huge dataset we will use to match users.
During 48 hours in the hackathon, we have successfully gotten the messaging platform as well as app-to-phone feature up and running, thanks to Sinch API. We also completed the registration flow for users with Airbnb account to import their listings. Next step is connecting people around the world and creating a true sharing experience. No pressure, though.