Airbnb’s Soaring Valuation Should Be A Wake-Up Call To Independent Hotels. Some months ago, before the company was worth a billion dollars, I shared some thoughts on Airbnb.
Specifically, in what some mischaracterized as an attack on the company, I criticized those whose worship at the altar of Disruption is so unconditional that they don’t think Disruptive companies should be hidebound by the law. If Disruptive entrepreneurs are so clever, I argued, they’ll find a way to either work within the law, or to lobby to have it changed, rather than simply flouting it. In the case of Airbnb, the law being challenged was New York’s S68730-B/ A1008-B (aka the “illegal hotel bill”); a proposed piece of legislation designed to prevent slum landlords from scamming tourists into staying in hastily converted deathtrap SROs. Or, as the Disruption cultists saw it,a desperate attempt by the hotel lobby to drive the mighty Airbnb out of business. Two recent developments have finally given lie to that delusion. How AirBnB Became a Billion Dollar Company. Disclosure 1: I work in the vacation rental industry.
While my company specializes in regional, recreational vacation homes, not metro rentals – there is an obvious conflict. Disclosure 2: This is an opinion piece. This post is just my opinion along with some evidence to support it. Judge for yourself. Yesterday AirBnB announced that they raised $100M at a $1B valuation. My Answer: Craigslist Spam! I believe AirBnB used multiple gmail accounts to spam craigslist and grow their site to a one billion dollar valuation. Back story: A year and a half or so ago I was looking into the amazing growth of AirBnB. Following my hunch, I started snooping around the place that all good black hats go to make money and get free traffic – craigslist. Please remember, I am not judging anyone here, I am just reporting my findings because I believe it will help other entrepreneurs.
Back to my hunch. Again, the email I received was from “email@example.com,” not AirBnB. On twitter: @davegooden Added 6/15/2011. How Big Is Airbnb, Really? Tech News and Analysis. Airbnb, the peer-to-peer apartment and house rental website, is rumored to be raising $100 million in a new round of funding that values the company at $1 billion.
Such large numbers may seem shocking considering the startup’s relatively modest past — the three-year-old company launched out of its founders’ living room in San Francisco, and has since raised $7.8 million from a variety of investors including, most recently, Ashton Kutcher. But the valuation may not be unreasonable in light of Airbnb’s future prospects. Airbnb is on track to take in more than $25 million in net revenues on $500 million of flow-through sales in 2011, and the rumors of a new round are on target, according to a source with knowledge of the company’s operations. If all goes according to Airbnb’s larger plan, those figures could just be the beginning. “This year is about international growth. You can watch my interview with Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia below. Airbnb Raises $112 Million to Take Its Marketplace For Places Global. Airbnb Has Arrived: Raising Mega-Round at a $1 Billion+ Valuation. According to several sources Airbnb is in the process of closing a whopper of a funding round: $100 million or more at a $1 billion-plus valuation.
The round is being lead by Andreessen Horowitz, and includes participation from DST, say our sources. That’s a big increase from the company’s last funding round of $7.2 million, which included Sequoia Capital, Greylock, SV Angel, Ashton Kutcher and Youniversity Ventures (Kutcher broke the news that he’s an investor in AirBnB at TechCrunch Disrupt last week). The company, which launched via Y Combinator, has raised just $7.8 million to date. No surprise, it was a hotly contested deal. The service has exploded, growing more than 800% last year and booking 1.6 million night stays in other people’s homes to date.
Airbnb has become the sleeper hit of the startup world.