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Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short-term lodging in 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries across the globe. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb has helped host 70 million guests to date in its 2 million home listings. And while the company has had to tread thin legal ice in some markets, it isn't letting pushback from cities like New York and San Francisco stop its growth. Now valued at $25.5 billion, the company is on to its next phase of development, which focuses on helping travelers explore the world outside their rentals. In December, Airbnb began an invite-only test of its Journeys program, which offers Airbnb-curated (and host-facilitated) trips for a flat fee. The test was in San Francisco, with three- and five-day excursion options that included a rental (selected by the company), one meal a day, and a Lyft pickup from the airport. The company is also in the early stages of developing an "Experience Card" with MasterCard, which is a pre-loaded--but not prepaid--card that travelers can use during their visits and earn 10% cash back for use on future bookings. And Airbnb has partnered with AmEx to let its cardholders streamline the checkout process and use reward points to book stays. And while CEO Chesky won't confirm whether an IPO is in the cards, the company is set to become profitable in 2016.

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

A growing name recognition and lucrative partnerships

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

Legal challenges for non-tenant-occupied rentals

What to look out for:

A potential IPO

Top perks for employees:

Fireside chats, daily meals and snacks, annual travel credit, offsites and happy hours, paid volunteer time, employee resource groups

Social media handles:

Twitter: @airbnb
Instagram: @airbnb

Diversity breakdown:

46.3% female
63% white
22.3% Asian
7.1% Latino
3.9% 2+ races
2.9% Black
63% white
0.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
0.3% Native American or Alaska Native


$25.5 billion
public or private
Slated to become profitable in 2016
$340 million
60 million guests in 34,000 cities, in 190 countries, with 2 million listings
San Francisco, CA