The UK is a big market for Airbnb, with over 81,000 properties listed on the platform here and 2.2 million tourists using the service to stay in Britain in 2015 alone.
Now we’ve got a little insight into what that looks like for Airbnb in terms of money.
Airbnb UK filed abbreviated accounts with Companies House in January and while they don’t disclose key measurements such as revenue and profit, they do give an idea of the sort of ballpark Airbnb is playing in.
The balance sheet disclosure shows that Airbnb’s UK business had just shy of £60 million in the bank at the end of 2014, the latest period the accounts cover.
Airbnb UK was also owed £168.6 million and itself owed £227.6 million. When you net those out, Airbnb had just £91,291 of assets on hand.
Frustratingly, though, you can’t glean much from the accounts other than to say there’s a lot of money moving through Airbnb’s UK operation, which runs out of a swanky new office in London’s Clerkenwell neighbourhood. Airbnb still qualifies as a “small company” under UK reporting rules, meaning it doesn’t have to disclose much about its business. It’s likely that will change next year.
But the balance sheet shows that Airbnb, a company valued at over $25 billion (£17 billion), has a huge amount of money flowing through its UK business. Those figures are also a big jump from what they were in 2013, suggesting it’s growing fast.
Airbnb told us that the balance sheets figures include “everything” involving the business and so shouldn’t be taken as a proxy for revenue or bookings. A spokesperson said much of the money involved transactions between Airbnb UK and its US parent company.
A spokesperson for Airbnb told BI:
Our accounts were filed last year and comply fully with disclosure rules. Airbnb is growing fast. Our primary focus right now is on reinvesting in infrastructure and systems to continue that growth and ensure our hosts — who keep 97 per cent of the money made by sharing their space — continue to earn additional income to help pay the bills.
Airbnb employs around 450 people at its European headquarters in Dublin but it only has around 35 people working for its UK business.
“Our product and engineering teams are all based in the US,” Airbnb UK’s general James McClure told BI last month. “Here [in the UK] we have a mix of people in marketing, creative design, PR, public policy, community, business development, working with our hosts. That side of things. It’s more commercial and creative.”
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