Airbnb Raises $1 Billion In Funding Round, Still No Plans For IPO


Short-term renting service Airbnb — like Uber but with houses — has closed a $1 billion round of founding, the company noted on Thursday, March 9, in a SEC filing. Airbnb is now approximately worth $31 billion.

The company raised an additional $450 million from its Series F round, which stands twice as tall as last fall. According to the filing, the total amount raised was $1,003,312,065. The investors were not named.

The company also became profitable in the second quarter of 2016, according to CNBC, citing a person close to the outlet, who also states that Airbnb expects to be further profitable this year. Founded in 2008, the San Francisco-based company has raised more than $3 billion over the years, according to the New York Times. It is currently the second most valuable private U.S. company, according to CB Insights, just behind ride-hailing service Uber.

Airbnb Has No Plans To Go Public

The $1 billion funding round follows the IPO of Snap this month, the parent company of Snapchat, a wildly popular photo messaging service featuring disappearing content. Snapchat was also a highly valuable company pre-IPO, and its decision to go public has brought up questions with regard to which companies are inching toward an IPO next.

Airbnb has long been suspected of planning to go public. But while Airbnb is profitable, Brian Chesky, the company's chief executive, said in an interview back in November that, although he wasn't opposed to the notion of the company making an IPO, Airbnb had no plans to do so. It still doesn't, according to CNBC.

Expanding To Other Ventures

Airbnb, which matches lodge-seekers and travelers with short-term home rentals, says it has over 3 million listings across 100 countries, and the company is expanding by looking into other ventures, including payments, property management, and even restaurant reservations.

Airbnb has also begun priding itself not just a simple booking app for home rentals, but one which can allow its users to immerse in the local milieu, letting them infuse their travels with experiences the specific location can offer. Launched back in November, it helps users "experience a city like a local."

The company also picked up key acquisitions that will help spell its commercial appeal wider. The acquisitions include Tilt, a group-focused funding platform, and Luxury Retreats, which Airbnb shopped to presumably appeal to upmarket-inclined users. Airbnb also announced investment in Resy, a restaurant reservations platform.

The company's success, however, threatens the general hotel industry. According to notes from the American Hotel & Lodging Association's January board meeting as reported by the New York Times, it plans to counter Airbnb's middle-class appeal with testimonials suggesting that the company's home rental platform brings harm. Airbnb, by comparison, can offer lower rates than traditional hotels, which seriously undercuts their appeal. Airbnb fished the help of Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, and actor-cum-investor Ashton Kutcher, among others, as it grew and expanded into more and more cities.

At its current valuation, no information pertaining to how it's going to use its funds has been released, but CNBC speculates that it will likely use to expand its global operations.

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