Which raises questions about where value lies in this economy. Are experience and assets overrated in a digital economy ? Is the newer always going to supersede the new? Or is it simply that experience invariably generates costly problems whereas investors in a nanotech-driven market are enamored of the glorious and unburdened future.JL
Ingrid Lunden reports in Tech Crunch:
Airbnb started as a marketplace for people with spare beds to connect with travelers who needed a place to stay but couldn’t afford a hotel (but) has expanded with a huge global network, as well as a new line of “experiences.” As it gets bigger and bigger, it’s facing increasing pressure from a legal perspective, from authorities investigating how and if Airbnb is violating residency regulations, and how it’s turning private tenants into armchair hoteliers.
After the vacation marketplace Airbnb last year filed SEC forms raising $555.5 million, today the company filed a new form D that has closed off its Series F with an additional $447.8 million, bringing the total to more than $1 billion — or $1,003,312,065, to be exact. TechCrunch has confirmed with sources close to the company that it is now valued at $31 billion.
Note: The $31 billion is $1 billion higher than the $30 billion valuation Airbnb said it had when it closed the first tranche of this Series F round.
Airbnb turned profitable in the second half of 2016 and anticipates that it will be profitable in 2017 on an EBITDA basis, the source tells us.
The company has been tipped as one of the outsized tech startups that would go public this year, although this latest round gives it a lot more runway as a private company. Our source tells us that Airbnb has “no plans to go public anytime soon.”
We’re still trying to get the names of investors. The SEC form filed today names Alfred Lin of Sequoia and Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz. When the first tranche of this round closed, it was reported that Google Capital and TCV were leading the round.
Airbnb — which started as a marketplace for people with spare beds to connect with travelers who needed a place to stay but didn’t want or couldn’t afford a hotel — has expanded massively with a huge global network not just of spare beds but whole homes covering all budgets, as well as a new line of “experiences.”
Launched in November last year, this new category takes the company beyond accommodation into events that let users “experience a city like a local.” Airbnb also moved into an end-to-end experience by letting users book their travel through the Airbnb platform. It’s also made a couple of key acquisitions that speak to how it hopes to widen its commercial net, including the group-focused Tilt funding platform and Luxury Retreats to bring in more properties (and clients!) at the higher end of the market.
But as it gets bigger and bigger, it’s facing increasing pressure from a legal perspective, from city authorities around the world who are investigating how and if Airbnb is violating residency and hotel regulations, and other organizations that are butting heads with Airbnb over how it’s turning private tenants into armchair hoteliers. In one of the latest cases, it’s being sued by giant apartment management company Aimco, which claims that it’s aiding tenants to break their leases by renting out their homes on the platform.
On the other side of the range of political discourse from its regulatory battles, Airbnb has also (along with many others) been an outspoken critic of the immigration policies of the Trump administration.
More to come.