Airbnb Could Be Joining the $10 Billion Valuation Club
The round, which will likely be led by private-equity firm TPG, is estimated to raise between $400 and $500 million.
Not only would a $10 billion valuation put Airbnb at the top of a list of the most highly venture-backed companies (joining Dropbox and Chinese mobile-phone maker Xiaomi), it would also mean the San Francisco-based home sharing service is valued more highly than some of the hotel chains it competes against, including Hyatt Hotels at $8.4 billion.
Word of the new funding round comes on the heels of a recent crop of horror stories from Airbnb hosts. Last month, Rachel Bassini used the site to rent out her New York City penthouse; she returned to find the place epically trashed (the details are both grimy and well documented). And just this past weekend, Ari Teman gave his keys to a renter before promptly discovering that said renter was using his place to host an orgy (you can read Teman's full account of the ordeal in his blog post entitled "Dear AirBnB, No Thank You for the XXX Freak Fest").
Rental disaster stories like these two, along with continued pushback from regulators, has consistently plagued the company. Ultimately, both hosts were refunded for damages incurred but that didn't stop their horrifying accounts from spreading like wildfire.
It's clearly not enough to scare away investors, however.
While Airbnb hasn't disclosed revenue or profitability, it currently has more than 600,000 listings in 160 countries. And according to the WSJ, Brian Chesky, the company's chief executive, has major plans for continued expansion; he has indicated that he would like to add more hospitality services, taking the platform beyond simply home and apartment rentals. Earlier this year, for example, Airbnb began testing a cleaning service for hosts in certain neighborhoods in San Francisco and New York.
"We are actively looking to build specific services," Mr. Chesky told the WSJ in January. "We need to offer more."
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Online Scams Are More Sophisticated Than Ever. Here's How to Shop Safely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, According to a Cyber Intelligence Expert.
This Guy Saved Barbie From Cultural Extinction. He Did It by Asking One Big Question.
The Top 5 Hot Franchise Categories for 2023, According to One Industry Expert
Why Can't We Resist Black Friday and Cyber Monday? A Behavioral Economist Explains the Psychological Forces That Make Sales Irresistible.
I Couldn't Sleep. I Obsessed Over My Failures. Then I Found the Weirdest Cure.
This Pitch Scored a $250,000 Investment — But It Almost Didn't Happen
Employees Were Demanded to Go Home. Here's How We Invite Them to Come Back.