California-based Airbnb has arranged to raise US$1.5 billion (A$1.94 billion) skyrocketing its value to US$25.5 billion, a source close to the deal told AFP.
A group of American and Chinese investment funds were involved in the discussions, which are aimed at expanding Airbnb’s offerings in Asia, according to the source, AFP reports.
The funds are General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GGV Capital, Horizon Ventures and from China Hillhouse Capital Group and China Broadband.
The deal could be announced as soon as next week, the same source added.
It would be among the biggest corporate capital infusions by a tech firm, among the likes of VTC Uber ($2.8 billion), China’s online giant Alibaba ($1.6 billion) and Facebook ($1.5 billion) before it went public.
At US$25.5 billion, Airbnb, which does not own a single hotel, would be worth more than hotel giants Marriott (US$20.90 billion), Starwood (US$14 billion) and Wyndham (US$10.01 billion). Hilton Worldwide just piques the online venture, valued at US$27.7 billion.
Launched in San Francisco in 2008, the home rental company has boomed to a community of more than 35 million travellers in more than 34,000 cities. Airbnb continues to clash with local authorities in cities such as New York and Paris.
Since it is not publicly traded, Airbnb does not have to publish its figures. But its sales have surged from US$250 million to US$850 million in just two years.
It takes 3% of the transaction from the property owner, and 6-12% of the transaction from the traveller.