The online room-rental juggernaut Airbnb is looking at a huge new round of funding that could give it at a $2.5 billion valuation, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley investor famous for his investment in Facebook, is said to be ready to shower the four-year-old San Francisco startup with around $150 million.
The deal is not yet signed, and the details aren’t totally clear. The report says that current Airbnb investors at Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital would also participate in this round of financing. Thiel’s cash infusion would be more than double the $120 million the company has raised so far. After its last financing in July 2011, Airbnb was valued at $1.3 billion.
The company has recovered from an unfortunate incident last year, and over the past few years its growth has skyrocketed. Today the service is active in 192 countries and has seen more than more than 5 million nights booked. Between February 2011 and February 2012, the company’s nights booked multiplied by five.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user [401(K) 2012].