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Business

Airbnb raises $1 billion in new financing

The home-sharing site says two rounds of fresh funding over the last six months will give it "operational flexibility." The peer-to-peer start-up is now valued at $31 billion (29 billion euros).

Airbnb Inc said it has added $447 million (421 million euros) to the $555 million it took in funding in September last year, according to a filing with the US Security and Exchange Commission.

The $1 billion in new investment helps value the online room renter at $31 billion.

Airbnb, which operates in more than 65,000 cities, has enjoyed tremendous growth as it pushes ahead with its plans of global expansion.

The home-sharing site became profitable in the second half of last year before accounting for interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, according to a company source.

The source told the Agence France-Presse news agency the new funding will give the start-up "operational flexibility."

No IPO

The source added said Airbnb has no plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) "any time soon."

One of the most prominent members of the so-called "sharing economy," Airbnb has raised more than $3 billion since being founded in 2008. But it's yet to reach even half the market value of the ridesharing giant Uber, which is estimated to be worth $68 billion.

The company is locked in a global battle with regulators who say the service takes affordable housing off the market and drives up rental prices. 

Several cities including Barcelona and Berlin have launched legal action to restrict the start-up's expansion.

Over the past year, the start-up introduced travel experiences to its range of rooms and homes to rent, and has partnered with a restaurant booking platform to allow users to book dinner from its app.

Watch video 01:30

Trouble in paradise: Airbnb undercuts hotels in Curacao

mm/uhe (AFP, Reuters)

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