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Airbnb says more than half of all mobile traffic is coming from iOS devices
Amid rumors that it’s raising a big round of financing that will bump its valuation up to more than $2 billion, Airbnb has released some new details about a less often talked about side of its business: mobile usage. The company announced Thursday that more than a quarter of its traffic comes from mobile users. And more than half of those mobile users are accessing the service via an iOS device.
The Airbnb mobile app has now exceeded one million downloads, and the company says that every five seconds, someone sends an Airbnb message via mobile. Last month, more than 530,000 messages were sent via mobile.
Why is it important for Airbnb to cultivate a large mobile user base? Because evidently, everything happens faster via mobile. The company says that users respond to messages three times faster via mobile than they do on the Web.
Airbnb has been growing at a steep trajectory despite a few PR hiccups, including the infamous EJ debacle and a story just last month of a couple of prostitutes using an apartment that had been rented out in Stockholm. Nevertheless, it remains the go-to site if you want to find a place to stay or rent out your pad for a few days.
In June, the company hit a new milestone with 10 million guest nights booked through the platform since it was founded in 2008. That’s double the five million booked as of January 2012, and two million in June 2011. At that time, Airbnb said that more than 38,000 people were staying in accommodations booked through the platform. The vast majority of Airbnb guests hail from the U.S., while most of the listings are in Europe.
With such steep growth, Airbnb must be seeing a spike in revenue, as the company is rumored to take some 10% of each transaction. The platform saw some 484,000 uniques in August, according to Compete. By comparison, Homeaway saw 1.9 million uniques, and VRBO.com saw 2.8 million uniques.
Today’s announcement comes as rumors bubble about a $100 million round that Airbnb is reportedly raising. The round is expected to value the company at somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion. Reports have it that a new investor will be leading the round.
The Y Combinator graduate has raised $120 million to date from such top VC firms as Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and DST, as well as several high-ranking angels, including Ashton Kutcher, Jeremy Stoppelman, and Keith Rabois.
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Airbnb.com is the “Ebay of space.” The online marketplace allows anyone from private residents to commercial properties to rent out their extra space. The reputation-based site allows for user reviews, verification, and online transactions, for which Airbnb takes a commission. As of June, 2009, the San Francisco-based company has listings in over 1062 cities in 76 countries.