Airbnb plans to list shares next year

Daniel Fowler
September 21, 2019

Under securities law, Airbnb has to unveil its plans to go public before it can offer shares to the hosts.

SAN FRANCISCO-Airbnb Inc. revealed that it expects to become a publicly-traded company during 2020.

Over the years, the Airbnb community has grown from 1 000 in 2011 in 12 cities, to seven million Airbnb listings in over 100 000 cities around the world in 2019. Almost 1,000 cities have more than 1,000 Airbnb listings.

Home sharing platform Airbnb had confirmed on Thursday that it is planning to go public in 2020.

WeWork owner The We Company has also postponed its initial public offering, walking away from preparations to launch it this month after a lackluster response from investors.

Is going public a guaranteed success?

This ends years of guessing and speculation as to when the company would enter the public market, even after the company's CEO, Brian Chesky, said in April that he would be ready to take it public as soon as this year.

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Six guests check into an Airbnb every second, the company says. In November it announced Backyard, an initiative that will explore building new homes specifically created to accommodate short-term rentals.

It has previously said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was positive for 2017 and 2018.

A number of tech-focused startups hoping to go in for an IPO this year have faced issues over proving their profitability potential to prospective investors, such as Uber and Lyft, but market analysts believe Airbnb will fare better.

Other tech startups, including Zoom, Slack, PagerDuty, Cloudflare and Pinterest, that went public in 2019 are now trading above their IPO price.

In the latest announcement, Airbnb alleges to list on stock exchanges in the next year.

"I think it'll be a whole different reception for Airbnb, assuming that they can show they're a profitable business without having to lose money on marketing", said Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, a provider of institutional research and IPO ETFs.

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