The Real Deal New York

Chinese sovereign fund CIC buys stake in Airbnb

China Investment Corporation participated in recent $1B funding round
March 10, 2017 01:36PM

From left: CIC Chairman Ding Xuedong and Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky (Credit: Getty Images)

China’s sovereign wealth fund bought a stake in Airbnb through its latest funding round, which valued the home-sharing startup at $31 billion.

The state-backed China Investment Corporation contributed 10 percent to the latest $1 billion funding round, according to a filing with U.S. securities regulators cited by Sky News.

CIC, which owns stakes in companies such as Heathrow Airport Holdings and London’s private Thames Water utility, is one of 40 investors in the San Francisco company’s latest round.

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Airbnb turned a profit for the first time in fall of 2016, and in the company was reportedly in advanced talks to buy its largest Chinese rival, Xiaozhu.com.

CIC’s investment is seen as evidence of the strategic importance the Chinese market plays for technology companies such as Airbnb. The latest funding round suggests the startup is likely to pursue an initial public offering sometime in the near future.

In 2016, CIC was active in New York City real estate, with purchases of minority stakes in the trophy office towers 1221 Sixth Avenue in Midtown and 1 New York Plaza in the Financial District.

Airbnb is reportedly considering getting into the long-term rental business. [Sky]Rich Bockmann