(Riccardo and other Couchsurfing users quoted in this article asked to be identified by pseudonyms.) On the business front, the crowdsourced hospitality site has been experiencing a rough patch lately.
After a controversial transition to a for-profit model in 2011, which brought million in funding in the past two years, growing pains have set in.
“I do feel guilt, but not like I took advantage of somebody.” Instead of calling his friend with tales of his latest conquests, he has recently found himself calling to complain.
Members can request a couch, host a traveler, or find new friends to meet up with locally.
Riccardo agrees to host only female travelers and stipulates that they be younger than him.
It’s important to stay professional, and guys I train with need to see me as a fighter and a teammate or it gets too complicated.” A Couchsurfer since 2009, Jessie has traveled the globe using the service.
But it’s not a dating site, she insists, “It’s a social site. “I have high standards, I don’t just sleep with any guy I think is hot.