Airbnb achieves profitability for second year in a row

US: Airbnb, which is set to go public this year, said it was profitable on an EBITDA basis for the second consecutive year in 2018.

In Q3 2018, Airbnb said it had its strongest quarter ever, where it saw “substantially more” than $1 billion in revenue. The following quarter, Airbnb found a replacement for former CFO Laurence Tosi, who left amid reported tension between him and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Following that, Airbnb brought in Dave Stephenson, a long-time Amazon executive, to lead the company into the next phase of its growth.

Airbnb wrote in a statement: “He will use his experience in growing large businesses quickly at scale to ensure we are investing for both growth and long-term profitability.”

Airbnb also announced it expects to hit 500 million arrivals by the end of Q1 2019.

The startup was last year valued at $31 billion and Tech Crunch sources believe it is expected to go public later this year, potentially as soon as 30 June, when its employee equity grants expire. It now employs over 4,000 people.

In relation to IPOs, Airbnb has been more reticent to disclose its future plans regarding growth compared to a lot of other startups. Last summer, it was reported Airbnb’s executives and investors had been at loggerheads over whether it should ever be going public at all.

A public listing is often used as a way to help scale a company faster than it is already growing, but IPOs come with the added demand to be more publicly accountable in terms of a company’s finances and other matters, such as regulatory issues.

These days, startups are staying private for much longer periods and doing their scaling away from the glare of public scrutiny. Many of these startups are also being financed by significant funds being invested from private sources such as private equity firms.