r Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and Facebook’s first outside investor, is close to investing roughly $150m (£93.7m) in Airbnb in a deal that would value the lodging rental start-up at about $2.5bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
Details of the investment round, which has not yet closed, were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The deal, if completed under the reported terms, would make Airbnb one of the Silicon Valley’s most highly-valued private companies just four years after the company was founded by a trio of graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard.
Techcrunch, a technology blog, reported last month that Airbnb had approached investors about a large new funding round.
Thiel’s investment would represent a significant vote of confidence in a firm that has encountered a raft of regulatory hurdles in tourist destinations like San Francisco and New York, where residents, in some instances, can list a room on Airbnb for hundreds of dollars a night.
Last year, the company hauled in a $110m investment round from venture firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst Partners with an implied valuation of more than $1bn.