Just two months after Uber announced its quest for a $1.5 billion round of funding that would value the company at $50 billion, Airbnb appears to be on a similar track: The home rental service is about to raise $1.5 billion of its own, according to the Financial Times.
The massive round, led by U.S. growth equity firm General Atlantic, would value Airbnb at $24 billion. Like Uber (and plenty of other technology companies), Airbnb’s prospective growth is hinged to its expansion into Asian markets.
Airbnb has long been rumored to be one of the tech industry’s next big IPOs, and this reported valuation only stirs up that speculation more. As the Financial Times points out, this round would match the $1.5 billion that Facebook raised just a year before going public in 2012.
Since its founding in 2008, Airbnb has slowly started to chip away at the dominance of traditional hotels, who are left scrambling to figure out how to court travel-hungry, budget conscious millennials. The travel industry is a massive one, and there’s plenty of room for Airbnb’s market share and name recognition to grow. Disrupting a well-established $6 trillion industry is no simple undertaking, but a fresh infusion of cash should help.