airbnb

Airbnb has raised another billion dollars, takings its valuation to $31 billion.

We don’t know why, we don’t know who, but we do know what. And we also know a thing or two about its finances.

Airbnb has raised a cool one billion dollars, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. We don’t who provided the funding, we don’t know how the company plans to spend it.

Actually, the company raised $1,003,312,065. If you like looking at forms, then the SEC site has the form that Airbnb’s bosses were required to fill in by law – it must have taken them all of two minutes.

But according to whispers, the company made a profit at the end of 2016, and expects it to stay that way in 2017.

That’s a rare achievement – for a start-up to be valued in excess of $25 billion before IPO and yet be profitable, would you believe it?

Airbnb was founded in 2008, and now has in excess of three million rentals, and it’s in 65,000 cities, 191 countries.

Not everyone loves the company – hoteliers seem to have a regard for Airbnb that is not that dissimilar from the regard they might hold to the idea of rats frequenting their basements.

It’s a curiosity – the sharing economy, be it taxis, rooms, driveways in the front of houses, or desks, should lead to a more efficient global economy – creating more utility from less resource.

But the global economy has done rather well over the last 100 year or so, on being quite inefficient in that respect – one car to a person, for example, even if that car is only used for five per cent of the time. Such inefficiency has supported growth.

If the sharing economy becomes more pervasive, will this lead to a scenario in which consumers get more utility (satisfaction ) but GDP is less?

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