Airbnb closes $1B round at $31B valuation, has become profitable in 2016


Airbnb, the popular online community marketplace to list, discover, and book accommodations, had raised a $555-million Series F round led by Google Capital in Spetember 2016, and was valued at around $30 billion. According to a recent SEC filing, Airbnb has closed its Series F round raising roughly $450 million taking their Series F total to $1,003,312,065, or a little over $1 billion. According to CNBC, Airbnb is now valued at approximately $31 billion, up by $1 billion since September 2016.

Airbnb founding team, Image credit: Airbnb press resources 

Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky. Positioned as an alternative to expensive hotel bookings, it helps people locate and book private homes for overnight stays and is currently live across 65,000 cities and 191 countries, including India. On the supply side, homeowners can earn money by renting out their apartments or rooms, which would otherwise have been vacant.

Related read from May 2016: Airbnb banks on India for its speedy growth

Airbnb has so far raised about $3.4 billion in total funding across all its rounds- from seed to the current Series F.

The company is backed by US venture capital firms — Sequoia Capital, Founder's Fund, Greylock Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz, and international groups — China Broadband Capital, Tiger Global, and Temasek Holdings. The company also has six mutual fund companies as investors, including Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price Group, and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

A person close the the company also confirmed with CNBC that Airbnb has turned profitable in the second quarter of 2016. The source also noted that Airbnb expects to be profitable in 2017 too and has no plans to go public soon. (That's EBITDA profitability, according to the Wall Street Journal, meaning that expenses like taxes are not included.)

While the SEC filing confirms the developments, Airbnb hasn't commented about its Series F round on its social media channels or on the company's blog, which is quite active, and was updated just two days ago announcing their entry into the 'music scene' with Music experiences.

In November 2016, Airbnb had launched Trips, which saw the company move beyond accommodation by expanding to bookable local experiences, insider recommendations and social meetups. Trips initially launched in 12 global cities, including in India (currently beta), with 39 more to be added by the end of 2017.

Music experience is a part of Trips that lets users attend intimate concerts, in-demand gigs or even producing or performing their own music. The release had stated, "Open to travellers and locals alike, people can now use Airbnb to engage with local music scenes in a personal and authentic way."

CNBC also noted that although details weren't provided on how Airbnb plans to utilise the funds raised, its likely focus will be on growing operations globally.


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