TechCrunch Disrupt, breaking funding news from a year ago!
While on-stage at Disrupt Europe, Airbnb co-founder and CTO Nate Blecharczyk confirmed for the first time that the company raised a $200 million round about a year ago, and that the round was led by Founders Fund. (A spokesperson confirmed that previous investors also participated.)
Blecharczyk added that at the time of the investment, this was Founders Fund’s largest deal to date.
Back in October 2012, we wrote that the company was raising a $200 million round with a valuation of $2.5 billion. Airbnb still isn’t commenting on the valuation, but whatever the number is, it’s presumably included in the $13.7 billion combined valuation for all Y Combinator startups that founder Paul Graham shared a few days ago.
Asked why the team hadn’t confirmed the funding reports until now, Blecharczyk said that Airbnb is a consumer company, so sharing “big numbers” about funding doesn’t really help the company grow. TechCrunch’s Ryan Lawler also asked whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg participated in the funding (hey, Ryan admitted that it was an odd question), and Blecharczyk denied it.
The funding came up later in the panel — when asked about the company’s “exit strategy”, Blecharczyk replied that Airbnb isn’t interested in getting acquired: “We’re definitely committed to remaining independent.” And if Airbnb decides to go public, that would be a “means to an end.”
“We’re very well-financed, so I don’t think we are concerned with that,” he said.
During the interview, Blecharczyk also discussed the new Airbnb search experience, which we covered in a separate post. And he reiterated his previous announcement that the company has served 9 million guests since it was founded.