It’s always sad when innovative companies with creative solutions to helping people travel on the cheap shut down. I’m especially sad about this one because I had only just discovered them. Overnight was a private network for peer-to-peer home rentals. They offered paid lodging options within your personal network, or within networks of interest groups you could choose to join. The rental pricing on the network seemed very reasonable, and the concept is fun for making friends with the interest-group angle.
The Overnight concept of only showing your home to people within your networks helped address issues of trust and safety. Peer to peer rentals via Airbnb have become entirely impersonal. I don’t think they are dangerous. But certainly there are some scams out there (i.e. my friends were robbed, twice, at Airbnbs in Bali). And the pricing is impersonal and based on market demand. Overnight was encouraging friends and family rates, for folks within your network who just need a place to stay during their travels.
If I could really build a network of all my friends and all of their friends, around the world, that would be an impressive set of lodging options. There are a few companies working on similar concepts.Horizon offers a similar concept to Overnight, focusing on homesharing among friends and communities. Home Exchange networks that are focused on special interest groups are another take on this model. My Friends Room was a rental business focused on friend networks, but it looks like they have pivoted to regular peer-to-peer rentals. Friendshippr offered a crowdsourced delivery service to friends or people in your networks, but their website is gone. And FOF travel tried to set up friend networks for tours, lockers and coffee for travelers (they shut down in 2017).
I’m not sure if this model was the downfall of Overnight, or if other factors were more important. Either way I wish the founders luck and hope to see them take on other travel-related innovations in the future.