We learned late last month that Airbnb achieved profitability for the first time in 2016. Now comes a closer look at the company’s financials, courtesy of Leigh Gallagher, the author of a new book on the rise of Airbnb.
Airbnb and CEO Brian Chesky didn’t merely inch their way into the black last year—the company logged profits of $100 million on $1.7 billion in total revenues, figures that are both expected to increase substantially in the near future, per Gallagher’s report for Fortune. The short-term rental giant is said to be targeting $450 million in EBITDA and $2.8 billion in revenue during 2017, with hopes of growing those figures to $3.5 billion and $8.5 billion, respectively, by 2020.
In an age when tent-pole tech companies such as Snap and Uber are annually burning though eye-popping amounts of cash, Airbnb stands out as a unicorn that seems to be in solid financial shape. As recently revealed in Snap’s public IPO filing, the “camera company” (as it calls itself) lost $514.6 million last year, about 38% more than the year before. Uber is in even worse shape, with reports surfacing in December that the ride-sharing company was on track to lose $3 billion in 2016.
Part of why Airbnb finds itself in such good financial health is likely because of its asset-light business model. Since the company simply acts as an intermediary for renting out its customers’ property, Airbnb actually owns very little. While Uber and Snap also run asset-light, Uber has been burning through money battling competitors in its quest for global expansion, while Snap only started bringing in revenues in 2014, three years after it started operating.
Although most signs point to the company not taking the IPO plunge any time soon, this new information regarding its profits bodes well for how Airbnb might be received once it does hit the public markets.
Founded in 2008, the company has raised about $3 billion in funding from firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia. It most recently secured a $555 million round last year at a valuation exceeding $30 billion, placing it firmly among the most highly valued startups in the US, according to the PitchBook Platform.
Article by Mikey Tom, PitchBook