Who knew sharing apartments would be so profitable? Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia, are about to join an exclusive club – the billionaire club.
Forbes reports that the peer-sharing, apartment rental company will have a $10 billion valuation through its new round of financing, giving its three founders more than $1.5 billion each in stock—meaning each will maintain a little more than 15% in personal stakes of the company.
The valuation is being led by Forth Worth, Texas, based private equity firm TPG Capital, and it’s expected to close within the next two weeks. Airbnb declined to name the other investors involved.
Chesky, Blecharczyk and Gebbia may be coming into a lot of money, but their lifestyles are tied into Airbnb’s mission of sharing over buying. Chesky and Gebbia still live in the same apartment they got when they started the company, which they often rent out other Airbnb users. Blecharczyk prefers riding a bike over driving.
Airbnb is a leader in the share economy, with more than 11 million users and more than 600,000 listings in 160 countries. This latest valuation shows that Airbnb is taking the next step in an eventual public offering, although no date, if any, is known for when the three founders will eventually move away from private equity firms and move toward Wall Street.
Chesky, Blecharczyk and Gebbia will now be joining a group of billionaires under the age of 40, with Blecharczyk becoming the fourth youngest billionaire after Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Dustin Moskovitz and Hong Kong’s Perenna Kei.