Arbnb announces billion dollar valuation
If you’re not familiar with the term “Airbnb,” you better believe you’ll be hearing much more about this company in coming days. The hotel, boat, castle, tree house and apartment-sharing service is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and has announced that it has closed $112 million in a round of financing led by Andreessen-Horowitz. Partner Jeff Jordan led the deal for the firm, which contributed $60 million, according to Forbes. While the firm isn’t disclosing the valuation, analysts believe the number exceeds $1 billion.
Airbnb’s last round of funding was minimal compared to today’s announcement. Funding of $7.2 million came from such companies as Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Ron Conway’s SV Angel and celeb mogul Ashton Kutcher. The company only came to fruition in August 2008 and was founded by Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. Andreessen-Horowitz partner Jordan says Airbnb will use the new funding to expand globally adding to its fleet of 186 countries that already use the service.
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Airbnb has become quite popular in the luxury rental space for the elite and the commoner because its business plan and momentum matches those of today’s massive brands, such as eBay. Airbnb came from the idea when Chesky and Gebbia thought of a novel idea to offer their apartment in San Francisco to conference guests looking for a hotel room, which were sold out one weekend. Without having actual beds to offer, the idea of using airbeds transformed into the idea for an “airbedandbreakfast,” thus creating Airbnb. Three conference attendees stayed the evening and the duo enjoyed the company of guests and a new mode for income.
Growth has been exponential since the idea, and the company has helped to book more than two million rooms in over 16,000 cities around the world.
CB Insights: US Insurtechs Compete In A Now Global Market
In the first half of the year, insurtech companies around the world have raised US$7.4bn, nearly doubling their funding in Q2. According to Digital Insurance, insurtechs have raised US$4.8bn in Q2—an 89% increase in funding from Q1. But US firms are no longer the sole beneficiaries.
What Are the Stats?
Out of the 15 Q2 mega-rounds—those that top US$100mn—only eight included American firms. Pretty good, you might say. That’s over half! But US companies only made up 38% of the deals, which marks a 10% drop from Q1 and a 12% drop from 2020. Technically, therefore, US insurtechs are less influential than they’ve been in the past. But who says this is a bad development?
Despite my American citizenship, I’d argue that a more globally diverse insurance market is only for the best. Many of the world’s citizens who could most benefit from improved insurance services live outside of the States—and deserve local, tech-savvy services.
Why Does This Matter?
You’re always going to see the typical insurtech contenders from Western countries. For instance:
- German-based wefox: US$650mn Series C
- UK-based Bought By Many: US$350mn Series D
- US-based Collective Health: US$280mn Series F
But it’s critical that we address risk across the world. American insurtechs might be some of the most technologically skilled firms in the industry, but it’s not their first goal to address floods in Southeast Asia, crop destruction in China, and COVID complications in South Africa. That’s why we should celebrate that the recent Q2 round included insurtechs from 35 different countries.
According to CB Insights’ Q2 2021 Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, this was the first time that they’d observed insurtech activity in Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And ‘from a product, service, distribution, and underlying risk perspective, we—as a society and as an industry—are moving at an unprecedented speed’, says Dr. Andrew Johnston, Global Head of Willis Re InsurTech.
Just ask CB Insights. InsurTech value propositions have resonated with the world.