Airbnb, the popular service for renting out homes and apartments around the world, is currently looking to raise around $850 million in this round of funding. They are currently sitting at $555 million. A big investor that is part of that $555 million is Google Capital. This is the part of Alphabet that invests in late-stage startups, like Airbnb. This is not the same arm of Alphabet that invests in early-stage startups, that's Google Ventures, which is now known simply as "GV" and actually acts more like a traditional VC.
According to a report out of The Wall Street Journal this afternoon, Google Capital is leading the way in this round along with growth-equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures. A person close to the situation did say that Airbnb is planning to file a form D. It was also said that this round of funding is not closed just yet. So Airbnb does have the ability to gain a bit more funding, and perhaps hit their goal of $850 million. In this round of funding, Airbnb is being valued at $30 billion. Making them the second most valuable startup in the US, behind Uber who is valued at $68 billion.
Those of you that may not know who Airbnb is, they are a bit like Uber. Where people are able to rent out rooms and even their entire house to others – typically tourists – when they are traveling. It has become fairly popular for a couple reasons. One, is the fact that it feels a bit more like home when traveling. And the other reason is because they are typically cheaper than a hotel would be. However on the legal side of things, like Uber, Airbnb is also facing an increase in lawsuits over their business practices. Airbnb has also been working on some newer business areas in the past few months, to expand their business and revenue. This includes launching a "community center" in Japan, just last month. Which functioned a lot like a hotel and other Airbnb locations. There was also a new app called "Trips" which makes your phone act as a tour guide in the city you are visiting, so that you don't need to pay for a tour guide to experience the city.