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[NEW YORK] Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc valuation is set to be valued at US$13 billion, up from its US$10 billion valuation in March this year, as it discusses an employee stock sale, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Airbnb has met with investors to sell employee shares, and the funds from the sale would go to the employees rather than raising any new capital for the company, the report said, citing two people familiar with the matter. Airbnb was not immediately available for a comment.
Airbnb, whose website rental listings range from private rooms to manors and islands, has become one of Silicon Valley's most successful start-ups in the five years since it was founded by a trio of graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard.
The company which lets strangers share their homes for a fee, has seen a huge rise in its rental listings to more than 800,000 now, from 120,000 in 2012, according to its website. It provides evidence for Airbnb's growing popularity as an alternative to hotels.
A valuation of US$13 billion would make Airbnb worth more than Hyatt Hotels Corp, which has a market value of US$9.29 billion, and Wyndham Worldwide Corp, valued at US$9.81 billion.
Airbnb's array of investors include venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, TPG Growth - the growth arm of private-equity firm TPG Capital, a mutual fund T Rowe Price and a hedge fund Dragoneer Investment Group, according to the report.