Watch Live: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Discusses His Company’s Rise in the Sharing Economy
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky will be speaking with Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher in a lunch conversation at the Economic Club of New York. Tune in to the live stream—which will begin at 1 p.m. EST—above.
Chesky’s home-sharing company has been in the news a lot lately. Last week, the startup closed a billion-dollar funding round. In February, it acquired high-end rental company Luxury Retreats for a reported $300 million in cash and stock. It also finalized a deal last month to buy Tilt, a group payments startup.
In February, Gallagher published The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions … and Created Plenty of Controversy, telling the behind-the-scenes story of the creation and rise of the online lodging platform. In an excerpt in Fortune, Gallagher writes:
The opportunity to show some humanity or to receive some expression of humanity from others has become rare in our disconnected world. This is another element about Airbnb (and other short-term-rental services) that makes it different from other aspects of the so-called sharing economy. At its core, Airbnb involves the most intimate human interactions: visiting people in their homes, sleeping in their beds, using their bathrooms.
A source close to the startup told Fortune that Airbnb has no plans to go public anytime soon, noting it has “operational flexibility.” This flexibility comes from its new influx of capital as well as from the fact that it turned profitable (on an EBITDA basis) in the second half of 2016. Airbnb anticipates it will remain profitable in 2017 as well.
Airbnb has raised more than $3 billion in venture capital funding since launching in 2008. The company will likely use the funds to continue its aggressive global expansion. The home sharing behemoth is now valued at $31 billion. It is the second most valuable startup after Uber, which is valued at $69 billion.