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Brian Chesky is building Airbnb into an enduring travel brand

Chesky is No. 27 on the Recode 100.

No matter what it says, the hotel industry can’t just shake off Airbnb.

The apartment-rental marketplace, led by CEO Brian Chesky, now has more than four million listings worldwide, is working with a developer on the first co-branded Airbnb-ready building, passed 260 million all-time stays this year, raised another $1 billion and — according to a source close to the company — will be profitable again this year on an Ebitda* basis, by some $50 million above forecast.

That’s not to suggest things are perfect. It’s not clear that the company’s “experiences” product — a potential second major revenue stream including local tours, activities and more — is a real hit, though Airbnb continues to invest in it. Or that its other efforts to grow beyond apartment rentals will work. Cities may strike back with more regulation. China is alluring but tricky. Hotels have learned some lessons, too, both about coaxing regulators and designing a more modern travel experience.

Chesky has already built one of the most exciting global brands this century, with a $30+ billion valuation to match. But is it a one-trick pony? We’ll learn more next year.

* Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

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