This New Year’s, Airbnb got the hockey-stick growth that every startup envies

Starting off 2017 with a bang.
Starting off 2017 with a bang.
Image: Reuters/Rodrigo Garrido
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More than 2 million people planned to stay at an Airbnb over New Year’s, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted on Dec. 31. That was roughly double the 1.1 million guests Airbnb counted over New Year’s in 2015, and nearly four times the number of bookings for the 2014 holiday.

Here’s what the growth in Airbnb’s guests over New Year’s looks like since 2009:

Lots of startups dream of this so-called hockey-stick growth, but far fewer achieve it. Airbnb’s $30 billion valuation makes it worth as much on paper as the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott International, and the company has been working hard to justify it. Airbnb is chasing new growth in China and India, courting business travelers, and coaxing more hosts into its established US cities.

The real test of those efforts will come in 2017. In the meantime, at eight-and-a-half years old, Airbnb is still producing the kind of growth that all of Silicon Valley envies. Its investors should be celebrating.