Merchant Innovation

Airbnb Eyeing $24B Valuation As It Closes Off A $1.5B Funding Round

Airbnb is heading toward a valuation boost all the way to $24 billion as it closes in on finishing a massive round of fundraising that will add $1.5 billion to the company's coffers.

That would drop Airbnb into a tie for the biggest equity investment round in history - Facebook will be who they share the title with, as that is what the social media service raised shortly before going public in 2012. Uber, the most valuable startup in the world, is also looking to close out a $1.5 billion investment that would bring the company's total value to an astonishing $50 billion.

This would boost Airbnb's valuation to $24 billion as it becomes the latest “sharing economy” company from the U.S. to tap the booming demand in Asia.

Airbnb's newest round - which those close to the matter said is almost a done deal - will bring its value up almost $10 billion from its last valuation 15 months ago at $10 billion.

According to reports, U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic will lead the round with big bets also placed by Beijing-based Hillhouse Capital and investment firm Tiger Global, according to people familiar with the plans. All three are new investors in Airbnb. Current investors such as U.K. investment firm Baillie Gifford and U.S. mutual fund group Wellington, with fellow mutual fund companies Fidelity and T Rowe Price, will be upping their investments.

The transactions underscore the growing relationship between Silicon Valley and China, and the ever-growing demand in Asia for a variety of goods and services continues to intrigue American investors.

Airbnb has become popular with Chinese tour groups and is highly popular in South Korea and Singapore.

The company has seen strong growth in South Korea and Singapore and is looking to invest more across the region.

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