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Airbnb raises US$1bn as it looks to expand

The new cash means it’s unlikely the company will follow Snap onto the public market any time soon

Airbnb app on a phone
The fundraise values Airbnb at a little over US$30bn

Airbnb has raised US$1bn of fresh investment to help fund its expansion into new areas such as travel tours and luxury rentals.

The home rental group has grown rapidly since its launch back in 2008 and this recent fundraising values it at about US$30bn.

There had been speculation that Airbnb would follow Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) onto the public market, but given the cash influx this isn’t expected within the next year or so now.

The company, which makes money by allowing people to rent out their homes to fellow users, has been secretive about those who have backed it in this recent round of funding.

One that is publicly known is Google owner Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) venture capital arm, GV.

Airbnb has raised more than US$3.5bn from investors since its launch less than a decade ago.

Since last summer it has been venturing into new markets, such as offering boutique trip experiences, such as salsa dancing in Cuba.

Earlier this year it also splashed out on Canadian high-end rentals group Luxury Retreats.

It paid US$200mln for the company which specialises in renting out places such as Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

It’s come under pressure recently though for allegedly driving up rents and contributing to housing shortages in some cities.

Under pressure from MPs, Airbnb blocked its London hosts from renting out their homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent.

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