A well-known venture capitalist Peter Thiel invests $150M in an aggregator of rental housing offerings Airbnb. At the time, Thiel recognized the potential of Facebook and invested in the social network in 2004, and now in case of successful transaction, Airbnb can become another outstanding project, which total cost can be estimated at $2.5B.
Airbnb, founded four years ago by three graduates of the University of Rhode Island, allows landlords to place ads for free and charges a fee for each transaction concluded with the help of the site. Airbnb is growing rapidly: about 5 million people took advantage of the Service in June of this year, which is 4 million more than in 2011. According to the WSJ, the company's revenue in the III quarter was $10M.
According to the publication, Peter should expect the main risks of investing from the tenants working with the service. In July of last year, one of the apartments on the site was robbed, which forced Airbnb to insure the property of landlords for $1M.
Note that the investment of $500K in Thefacebook in 2004 (Peter got about 10% of the company), gave Thiel about $1B when he sold his shares at the recent IPO of the social network. Among his recent investments are Palantir Technologies – a developer of software for database analysis and data mining, and a social network for small business Yammer, which was acquired by Microsoft two months ago.