The founding members of AirBnB and early investors are laughing all the way to the virtual bank as news emerges that a Series C funding round of $450 million is closing at the valuation of $10 billion. While this valuation is still technically only on paper, can you imagine what it would be like to have been able to invest back in 2009? An analyst from Forbes (using Y Combinator’s standard investment terms and data around Sequoia Capital’s typical seed-round valuations) estimated that prior to this $10 billion valuation round, a $1,000 investment into Airbnb in 2009 would have been worth $589,667. If the new $10 billion valuation is confirmed, then that same $1,000 investment in 2009 will be worth roughly $2 million.
The numbers are staggering. Even ignoring the seed-round valuations – which have remained undisclosed – Airbnb’s valuation has risen from $1.3 billion in 2011 to $2.5 billion in 2012, and now $10 billion in 2014.
Remarkably, at this valuation the company would be worth more than Wyndham Worldwide Corp, which manages 7,500 hotels under the Wyndham, Ramada, and other brands and is valued at $9.3 billion; and also more than Hyatt Hotels Corp, which has a market value of $8.4 billion.