Airbnb, the website emblematic of the “sharing economy” that matches up travelers online with people looking to rent out rooms or entire homes, is close to securing fresh funding that would value the business at $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported this morning.
Astonishingly, that would rank the company ahead of hotel chains like Hyatt, InterContental and Wyndham, companies that own substantial physical assets and have thousands of rooms available around the planet. Hyatt, for example, owns 500 properties in 46 countries.
Funding at a $10-billion valuation would also make Airbnb Inc. one of the most highly valued venture-capital-backed startups on the planet, alongside cloud storage company Dropbox and Chinese mobile internet company Xiaomi. One of the world’s preeminent private equity firms, TPG, is likely to lead the funding round, according to the Journal.