Couch surfing firm Airbnb gets a $10bn price tag


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The Independent Online

Airbnb, the online home-rental company, is in talks with private equity firms to raise at least $400m (£242m) – a level of funding that would value the business at roughly $10bn.

That’s a market value higher than some established hotel and lodging companies including Hyatt Hotels and Wyndham Worldwide.

TPG Capital Management is expected to lead the funding. TPG also has an investment in ride-sharing company Uber, another dominant player in the sector known as the “sharing economy”.

Airbnb has become one of Silicon Valley's most successful start-up companies in the five years since it was founded by graduates from Harvard and Rhode Island School of Design.

But its business model has attracted attention from authorities.

The company is involved in a legal fight with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has subpoenaed Airbnb for information to try to determine if any of its customers are violating New York state laws.

New York state does not allow renters to sublet their homes for less than 30 days if they are not present.

And the San Francisco city attorney's office has also queried the type of short-term rentals offered by Airbnb following claims that Airbnb rentals take away supply from the rented housing and drive up rents.