Airbnb grew an astonishing 800% last year, in "for the long run"

Airbnb, a startup which launched in 2007 and allows people from all around the world to book smaller, lesser known places to stay, revealed yesterday they grew almost 800% in 2010.

In an interview with Fox Business, Brian Chesky, Airbnb's co-founder and CEO confirmed the outstanding statistic, revealing the company now sells stays in almost 170 countries across the globe.

"We did 800,000 nights booked last year in a 170 countries," Chesky said during the interview. "The vast majority of experiences are really, really positive."

The site, which has featured prominently on popular tech sites including TechCrunch and was first called AirBed and Breakfast when it launched in 2007, is backed by Y Combinator, and expects to reach one million bookings later this year.

They recently closed $7.2 million in funding to expand their operations, and are now hiring for a number of postions both remote and at their San Francisco offices.

When asked how Airbnb plans to enter the potentially lucrative corporate market, Chesky responded by pointing out the value you can get by paying less but getting more space than an average hotel room.

"Here's a great way to think about our business, often times on Airbnb you will get double the value of the hotel, so you can either pay half the price to get the equivalent or if you're prepared to pay a certain amount of money, you could actually get double the space," Chesky said. "We are literally almost in every block in many big cities, so wherever you have meetings you may actually be more convenient staying with Airbnb."

And Chesky acknowledges the comparisons between the site, which allows users to "rate" the places they stay at and providers to "rate" those staying at their properties, and eBay,  saying the company is in for the "long run" and hopes to do what eBay did for auctions to the travel market.

"If eBay can become a billion dollar company by selling the stuff inside a house, how big could a company be if they monetized the house? We're in this for the long run, we really want to build a longstanding company that provides huge value."

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