Airbnb's UK boss explains why the company just moved into an old London shoe factory

Airbnb London office


Airbnb James McClure with the four millionth Airbnb guests in the UK.

Airbnb officially opened its new UK headquarters in London this week, which boasts significantly more space for its expanding team than its former office.

The swanky new pad is based on the top floor of a former shoe factory in Clerkenwell, an area of London renowned for having a high concentration of people working in the creative industries.Speaking to Business Insider at the office launch on Monday, James McClure, Airbnb's general manager for the UK & Ireland, said: "Our choice around space is really in line with our growth.
"We didn't have a fixed location we were aiming for. We were just looking for the right kind of space and we found this place. It's a beautiful space to be involved in."

Airbnb has gone from a little known technology company in San Francisco to a $25.5 billion (£17.9 billion) multinational in just a few years.

Airbnb office

Business Insider/Sam Shead

A section of Airbnb's new London office.


In London the company now employs approximately 35 people in marketing, creative design, PR, public policy, community, business development, and other roles. All of the engineers, however, are still based in San Francisco.

The new UK headquarters gives Airbnb room to grow into as it can accommodate up to 60 people, according to McClure, who added that Airbnb's Dublin office is considerably bigger, with approximately 450 people. "London would be a similar size to Berlin and Paris," he said.Up until about two weeks ago, Airbnb's UK office was based near Old Street, which is home to the largest concentration of technology companies in the UK and possibly even Europe.

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