Will Airbnb take the global-travel company route post raising $1B?

Online marketplace and hospitality service, Airbnb, has raised $1 billion in its latest round of funding valuing the company at $31 billion. According to a Reuters report the company raised $447.85 million as part of the funding and in September last year it had raised about $555.46 million as part of the same round of funding. The company plans to use this fresh funding to expand into new areas such as luxury rentals, travel tours and long term residency as well as explore the idea of becoming a full service global travel company, according to a Bloomberg report. On an EBITDA basis the company turned in a profit in the second half last year and expects to continue to be profitable this year. Last year the Airbnb had integrated a feature that allows its users to book unique accommodations and live like a local in areas they visit. This seems to have changed the perspective about the brand from being just a service to find accommodation to one, which is more about events and experiences. Last month the company announced that it has acquired Montreal-based Luxury Retreats, a luxury vacation rental company offering over 4,000 homes in 100 destinations around the world for $300 million according to media reports. It was speculated that the company wanted to get into the luxury segment to go toe-to-toe with online travel heavyweights Expedia and Priceline Group, which had started focusing on home rental solutions. When the company had filed US SEC forms for this round’s first funding, it was reported that Alphabet’s venture capital arm, Google Capital and TCV were leading the series F. Techcrunch reported that according to an US SEC form D that the company filed for the $447.85 million was led by Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz. Though there are talks in the industry that Airbnb will follow Snapchat’s suite and go public this year, but according to Techcrunch, its source suggested otherwise. On the other hand an article in Financial Times states that the delay for going public will give Airbnb more time to sort out conflicts it is having with regulators on the company’s impact on the hotel and rental sectors. According to industry sources, since it was founded in 2008, the total investment that Airbnb has raised till date, goes above $3.5 billion and it has about $2 billion in liquidity that it gets when a booking is made. Which seems to be enough for the company to explore multiple travel and hospitality segments for diversification. As of now, the company has over 3 million accommodations listed in over 190 countries, listed on its website.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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