Airbnb, the world’s fourth most valuable startup, just got even richer. The home-sharing site has raised at least $555 million in new funding at a $30 billion valuation, according to multiple reports. The round has yet to close and could ultimately reach $850 million. A person close to the company confirmed the reports to Quartz. The company was valued at $25.5 billion in its last round.
Airbnb was said this summer to be raising up to $850 million at a $30 billion valuation. Per the Wall Street Journal, the deal was co-led by Google Capital, a venture capital firm funded by Alphabet that makes later-stage investments, and Technology Crossover Ventures, a growth-equity firm. Airbnb employees of more than four years were also able to sell common shares to investors as part of the deal, with about $200 million of employee stock sold. From the Journal:
The deal is designed in part to relieve some of the pressure to go public, as the company will have more funds to spend on expansion overseas, and can give longer-term employees the option to get cash for some of their shares, the people said.
Airbnb has indicated it is unlikely to go public in 2017, one person said, as the company still has many regulatory challenges to surmount before it has a clearer vision of its longer-term growth prospects and costs.
Airbnb is facing potentially devastating regulatory changes in New York, its second-biggest market, where the state senate in June passed a bill that would ban users from listing rentals of less than 30 days. People who do post such listings could be fined up to $7,500. Airbnb has threatened to sue New York should governor Andrew Cuomo sign the legislation. The company is also hiring lobbyists and attempting to rally its hosts in a grassroots organizing effort against the state senate bill.
On Sept. 10, a Saturday, Airbnb held an all-day meeting for about 150 of its New York City hosts in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. After a keynote, delivered by former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, the company passed out postcards to attendees and encouraged them to write Cuomo “a message about why you love hosting.”