DoorDash, Airbnb Push Efficiency & Expansion As Growth Normalizes

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DoorDash and Airbnb are spending money to grow their leads over rivals, even as pandemic-related demand surges cool off.

People began getting out of the house and going back to restaurants this spring, which isn’t the best for DoorDash, whose delivery model surged during lockdown. But the company said it still gained 3 points of share in the delivery category during the period, suggesting that it’s better positioned than rivals to build on the attention it got from customers in 2020.

Further supporting that idea: Monthly active users of its DashPass subscription service (think Amazon Prime for food and convenience) grew twice as fast as its users overall. Speaking of convenience, the company is investing beyond food, trying to introduce its takeout customer to grocery, convenience and pharmacy deliveries.

Meanwhile over at Airbnb, people might be a little more hesitant to book accommodations, but they’re spending more and staying longer. Bottom line: Because of higher prices, the company is bringing in more money and is more profitable than it was before the pandemic, even though people aren’t booking quite as many nights and experiences.

The most important detail: In the case of both Airbnb and DoorDash, management is confident enough in the model and trajectory that they’re putting their foot on the gas to spend on marketing and new initiatives.

Speaking of DoorDash, here’s a throwback: My Fortt Knox 1:1 interview with cofounder and CEO Tony Xu from early 2018. I’ve just posted the full video for the first time. What impresses me, looking back, is that his vision has stayed consistent:

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, SoFi CEO Anthony Noto

While you were sleeping …

The combination of a massive labor shortage in the U.S. coming out of the pandemic and an increasingly crowded market of app-based share-everything companies is raising the prices for freelance and contract work. Companies have to find new ways to bolster the supply-end of their platforms to meet consumer demand and continue growing at a rapid clip. CNBC

Disney reported blowout fiscal third-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations on subscriber growth, revenue and earnings. CNBC

In the broader world …

China has shut down a key terminal at its Ningbo-Zhoushan port, the third busiest port in the world, after one worker was found to be infected by Covid — a move that will likely put further pressure on already stretched supply networks. CNBC

On the horizon …

I’m on vacation next week!

I’m listening to …