Room-letting app Airbnb hits $10bn valuation

Oliver Smith
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AIRBNB, the online marketplace that allows homeowners to rent spare rooms from a mobile app, is in late-stage funding discussions that would give the company a valuation of $10bn (£6.05bn).

The fundraising round, which is reported to include TPG Capital Management, would place Airbnb on a list of tech start-ups that have recently achieved a $10bn valuation such as Dropbox, WhatsApp and Chinese mobile-phone maker Xiaomi.

Airbnb, whose website rental listings range from private rooms to manors and islands, has become one of Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups in the five years since it was founded by three US graduates.

The service operates in 34,000 cities across 192 countries and boasts more than 11m guest stays in rooms rented through its service.

At its last funding round two years ago Airbnb reached a valuation of just $2.5bn, yesterday’s valuation gives a strong endorsement to the start-up.

TPG is likely to lead the fundraising round, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which could exceed $400m. Texas-based TPG recently made a large investment in car-sharing company Uber, another major player in the burgeoning start-up tech sector.

Airbnb’s business has not been without controversy, such as in New York where renters are prohibited from sub-letting their homes for less than 30 days if they are not present. Airbnb has also faced criticism that its service removes supply driving up rental prices.

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