The sharing economy isn't just for the young. The Freebird Club is an Airbnb-like service that connects traveling seniors with seniors who have spare rooms.
There are a few notable differences between Airbnb and Ireland-based Freebird Club: mostly, that the host always stays (the idea is to foster connections); and it's members-only, so the over-50 pay a fee to join and use the service.
Freebird Club makes it easier for seniors to travel, knowing they won't be in a place alone. And just like Airbnb, the host gets to monetize their assets (like a mortgage-free house) and in many cases, supplement a fixed income.
"We really want to provide something that's fun and inspiring for older people. Often they have the time, but nobody to do it with and they won't go alone. That's why it's a club and you can stay with other members," founder Peter Mangan says.
Mangan's idea won the European Commission's Social Innovation Competition, and Freebird Club launches this month in the UK and Ireland, with potential to expand to the US.