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Airbnb headed for a $1 billion valuation

Social bed and breakfast startup Airbnb is in the process of closing a $100 million round of funding led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz that would raise the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion, according to TechCrunch.

This is a significant investment for Airbnb, which has previously raised $7.8 million, and comes days after actor-turned-investor Ashton Kutcher invested a significant amount of money in the company.

Kutcher, who was an early investor in Foursquare and the deal to purchase Skype back from previous owner Ebay, is increasingly being looked at in the investment world as someone to watch when it comes to predicting the next hot startup company.

Airbnb offers a service in which travelers looking for a unique experience (similar in scope to a bed and breakfast) can rent a living space from locals for a fee.  The service has seen incredible growth of 800 percent in the last year and had over 1.6 million local homes booked since it launched in 2008.

An investment this large may seem drastic, but Airbnb looks to be fulfilling a need in the marketplace. And while business trips and conference attendees will likely stick to booking hotel rooms, Airbnb could make a real splash with recreational travelers .

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