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Airbnb hits profitability as it sets up for possible IPO, report says

Airbnb hits profitability as it sets up for possible IPO, report says
[Photo: courtesy of Airbnb]

Airbnb’s head of global policy, Chris Lehane, told reporters in November that Airbnb would be profitable in 2017 (minus a few key expenses). Now a new report says Airbnb has cleared the profitability hurdle—and by a decent margin.

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The home-sharing company has hit “$100 million in cash-flow profitability,” according to Recode‘s sources. Airbnb is also expected to go public this year.

The news comes as Airbnb adds the CEO of American Express, Ken Chenault, to its board. As part of the announcement, the company added that it will be releasing a stakeholder’s report in March, which will outline how it intends to hold itself accountable to stakeholders. This will apparently include some information around how the platform is impacting housing markets—particularly those under strain. Studies suggest Airbnb is causing rising rents and housing prices in its most popular destinations.

CEO Brian Chesky has said in the past that he would like to build out Airbnb’s portfolio of services so it is not so reliant on its Homes service for revenue. But reducing reliance on Homes will also allow the company some flexibility in how it scales its housing product. It also sets the foundation for further growth.

Last year the company expanded into tourist activities with its Experiences product and grew its high-end homes offering through the acquisition of Canadian property rental  company Luxury Retreats. It’s also been tinkering with ways to build out even more services through the evolution of its app, which now suggests places, activities, and restaurants to travelers. All this experimentation outside of Homes is already generating additional sources of revenue for the company, better preparing it for an IPO and hurtling it toward Chesky’s vision of becoming an “end-to-end travel company.”

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