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Airbnb hits 10M nights booked, 200,000 listings worldwide

The online service that helps travelers book places to stay in private homes reached 10 million nights booked in January, an indication of its increasing popularity.

Airbnb, a service that helps travelers book places to stay that are rented out by homeowners, renters, and landlords, has reached a milestone.

The company announced today that 10 million nights have been booked on its service since its launch in 2008. To put that figure into perspective, Airbnb revealed that 2 million nights were booked last June, and it reached 5 million in January -- four years after its founding. Less than half a year later, it has tallied the same figure.

But before the company's growth is marveled at, it's worth noting that Airbnb in March acquired its largest U.K. competitor, Crashpadder, for an undisclosed sum. In an e-mailed statement to CNET, Airbnb confirmed that the 10 million figure includes nights booked through Crashpadder, as well.

Airbnb has become a favorite of venture capitalists over the last several years. In fact, last July, the company announced that it had raised $112 million in a financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz and DST Global. Its total investment at the time stood at nearly $120 million.

Airbnb's success has come organically. The company is not a household name in the online-travel business, but it has been able to attract more and more users through its unique offering. When the company's service launched in 2008, a night was booked every day. Nowadays, users are booking stays every two seconds. Those folks are now choosing from 200,000 listings worldwide.

But the site has not been without controversy. Last year, after a San Francisco customer's home was vandalized by a guest, it made a slew of changes to its policies to help guard against future incidents.