Airbnb Said to Be Raising Funding at $20 Billion Valuation

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Airbnb Gets $20 Billion Valuation

Airbnb Inc. is raising money from investors in a financing round that would value the room-sharing service at $20 billion or more, people with knowledge of the deal said.

Airbnb may bring in about $1 billion in the funding, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The closely held company, backed by venture-capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners and Founders Fund, was given a value of $10 billion last year in a round led by TPG Capital Management. Airbnb has raised more than $700 million before the latest financing.

At $20 billion, San Francisco-based Airbnb would join the ranks of the most highly valued private U.S. technology companies, including Uber Technologies Inc., Space Exploration Technologies Inc., Snapchat Inc., Dropbox Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc. It also would be worth almost seven times more than HomeAway Inc., a publicly traded vacation-rental site.

A slew of technology startups recently have raised billion-dollar rounds of financing at increasing valuations as corporate investors, hedge funds and mutual funds seek stakes in fast-growing companies before they go public. The abundance of capital is helping startups such as Uber, which recently raised about $4 billion in equity and debt at a valuation of $40 billion, to boost their cash to expand operations and staff.

Snapchat and Pinterest Inc. are now in talks to raise financing at valuations of $19 billion and $11 billion, respectively.

Airbnb, founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, publishes listings that let users rent out a couch, bedroom or house. The company, which makes money by charging a fee for each transaction, has listings in more than 34,000 cities, according to its website. The company continues to face regulatory scrutiny of its business in cities including New York, where Airbnb has about 25,000 active hosts.

TechCrunch reported Friday on Airbnb’s financing. Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, declined to comment Saturday.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected to state that TechCrunch reported the financing on Friday.)

(Updates with regulatory issue in seventh paragraph.)
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