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Airbnb expected to double bookings this year, as mobile lodging surges

Leaked performance numbers for San Francisco-based Airbnb predict 80 million nightly bookings per year, a huge surge since 2014 where the company was only handling 40 million.

The rise of Airbnb comes at a time where more people are looking for travel, accommodation, and things to do on mobile, instead of through guides. By having a system in place to offer hundreds of locations, it eases the process of securing a place to stay for a few days or weeks.

Previous estimates were set at 61 million bookings, but that estimate was far too conservative, according to the leaked documents. Airbnb has been hindered by new laws and regulation in America, but these laws have been mostly avoided by the startup.

It is also seeing large growth in cities across Europe, including Paris, which surpasses most American cities. London is another major city for Airbnb. Interestingly, the cities that tend to use Airbnb tend to use Uber as well, but Airbnb has not noticed large amounts of adoption in South-East Asia.

Airbnb is the third most valuable US venture capital startup, with a valuation just shy of £17 billion. Uber takes first place with a £32 billion valuation.

The startup claims over 1.5 million listings in 34,000 cities in 190 countries. It is currently investing in areas where mobile lodging has limited appeal, to try and bump its numbers even further.

Airbnb, like Uber, lacks major competition in the West, but in China a few imitators are snatching the business away. This could hint at trouble as Airbnb tries to tackle China and other major Asian countries, where popularity is expected to surpass the United States.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.