Unlike other tech startups, Airbnb is making money

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With a valuation higher than Hilton and Hyatt, and gaining on monolithic Marriott, Airbnb is doing something others in the tech upstart stratosphere have not yet been able to do: make money.

According to a CNBC piece, Airbnb will book its first full year of profitability, while companies like Uber, whose 2017 will be remembered more for strife and organizational changes, are losing money.

"The third quarter was the strongest quarter in [Airbnb's] history and this year, we will be profitable, as measured by EBITDA," Airbnb CFO Laurence Tosi told CNBC, which was reportedly told by a source familiar with Airbnb's financials that the company will end 2017 with bookings up approximately 50 percent over the year prior.


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CNBC last reported that revenue last quarter hit about $1 billion, up more than 50 percent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Uber in the first quarter of this year lost $708 million, which only widened in Q3, when it reportedly lost $1.46 billion. Beyond other troubles, including the June departure of former CEO Travis Kalanick, sexual harassment allegations at the company and this embarrasing video, more recently Uber disclosed that it paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret a massive breach last year that exposed personal data from around 57 million accounts.

Competition from other car-riding services, such as Lyft, Juno and Didi, in China, are also having a deleterious impact on market share; while, meanwhile, home-sharing rivals to Airbnb, such as Expedia-owned HomeAway, seem to be a smaller impediment. 

And while, as CNBC points out, Uber is scaling back internationally, Airbnb is scaling up. For instance, in China, where it has some 80,000 listings, and its business is known as Aibiying. Airbnb has announced its intention to double investment and triple the size of its staffers in China this year. It told CNBC that guest arrivals at listings in China grew 180 percent from the previous year to 1 million in the third quarter.

In the U.S, Airbnb is expanding now through real estate deals. Most recently, Brookfield Property Partners said it plans to invest up to $200 million in a series of Florida multifamily properties with the units to be rented out through Airbnb for part of the year. The Canadian investment company, which also dabbles in traditional hotel investment, has formed a joint venture with Niido, the developer behind the projects. It will invest $20 million in the first project, a 324-unit property in Kissimmee, Fla.

Airbnb does have its obstacles, particularly on the regulation front and backlash from some cities, such as Paris

What is the future, then, for Airbnb? Maybe this.

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