Airbnb to join the stock market in 2020

Airbnb acquired HotelTonight app in hopes to lure travelers away from scammers

Airbnb has said that it will be ready to join the stock market as it will be having its initial public offering in 2020.

In a short statement posted on its newsroom website on Thursday, Airbnb indicated that a tentative 2020 date is set for its IPO. Other than that, the company has not shared more information.

Founded over a decade ago, the San Francisco company that was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia created Airbnb based off an idea when they needed some extra cash and they put air mattresses on their apartment floor and charged $80 per night.

Over ten years later, Airbnb has grown into one of the largest home-sharing platforms in the world. The company said this week it has more than 7 million listings in 100,000 cities worldwide.

Also this week, the company announced that it had hit over $1 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2019. It’s the second time in the company’s history that it pulled in more than $1 billion, according to the statement.

Airbnb also said that through September 15, 2019 users who list their homes and rooms on the company’s marketplace have made more than $80 billion since the company’s launch. The supplemental income for underpaid teachers alone clocks in at $160 million alone and roughly 51% of people surveyed by the company said hosting has helped them afford their home.

Airbnb says that over 1,000 cities have more than 1,000 listings — eight years ago, that figure was only 12.

Airbnb is also pulling in more money from its tourism business, with more than 40,000 tours and “experiences” booked in over 1,000 cities.

All of this travel has led to over $100 billion in economic impact across thirty countries, the company said.

The company’s imminent public offering is good news for investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Manhattan Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, TCV, Firstmark and Altimeter Capital, which have collectively invested roughly $4.4 billion into the company, according to an a startup outlet.

Significantly, Airbnb has risen to be one of the most successful startup companies in the United States following big companies such us Uber, Lyft, and Spotify.

Now, Airbnb is set to be the last of those successful startups or big unicorns that grew up roughly a decade ago to become public. Earlier this year, Uber, Lyft, and Slack also went public. Other unicorns such s the We Company and Postmates also declared its public market intentions.

However, Airbnb also follows big IPO flops this year, which came as a disappointment despite investors’ high anticipation for their IPO. The ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft debuted on the market, but they continue to lose money and trade well below their IPO prices.

WeWork, which runs shared office spaces, delayed its IPO this week. Relatively, these numbers may also fair badly for Airbnb in 2020 as they may discourage investors from participating.

Airbnb’s growth also hasn’t come without controversy as the home-sharing platform’s success will depend on its ability to continue to work between government regulation over the company’s impact on housing prices and the creation of vacant apartments and homes that are only investment properties which increase Airbnb’s housing stock.

In relation, Airbnb faced some backlash in New York and Barcelona, Spain, where it was accused of encouraging over-tourism and raising rents because it takes living spaces off the market.

Earlier in June, ten cities moved a complaint against Airbnb — from a Paris regional court to the European Court Justice — to form a preliminary ruling on the tech giant’s current practices in Paris.

Reportedly, these cities are rallying against Airbnb’s expansive growth within the European state that has contributed to the increasing rates of homelessness, prices on rent, and the continuing “touristification” of neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, Airbnb has spent the past several years broadening its offerings in advance of an expected IPO. In May, it bought Hotel Tonight to help guests find last-minute hotel deals. In 2017, it acquired Luxury Retreats to raise the level of its accommodations. And it added “experiences” to its platform, so guests can book local tours, cooking classes and other activities.

Airbnb did not go into further detail regarding its plans or to list its shares, although it is widely expected to take a direct-listing route.

A direct listing to go public is a process in which no new shares are created and helps companies save millions of dollars in underwriting fees.

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