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Airbnb hopes to raise $2.6B in mid-December IPO

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2018
                                An Airbnb logo during an event in San Francisco. Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2018

    An Airbnb logo during an event in San Francisco. Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock.

Airbnb hopes to raise as much as $2.6 billion in its initial public stock offering this month, betting investors will see its home-sharing model as the future of travel.

In a government filing today, the San Francisco company said it expects to offer 51.9 million common shares priced between $44 and $50 each. The company is expected to list its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Dec. 10.

At the midpoint of its proposed range, Airbnb would command a market value of $32.3 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, which tracks IPOs.

It’s a remarkable comeback for the company that delayed its IPO when the coronavirus pandemic crippled global travel in the spring. Airbnb has more than 7 million listings on its platform, run by 4 million hosts worldwide.

Revenue fell 32% to $2.5 billion in the first nine months of this year as travelers canceled their plans. Hosts revolted when Airbnb canceled reservations without penalties. In May, the company cut 1,900 jobs — around 25% of its workforce — and slashed investments in projects not related to its core business, including movie production.

But Airbnb has recovered more quickly than traditional hotels as travelers seek whole homes in rural areas that are far from crowds. The number of nights and experiences booked, which plummeted more than 100% in March and April, were down 28% in July, August and September.

In Miami, short-term rental occupancy reached 83% in October, while average occupancy for hotels was 42%, according to STR, a hospitality data firm. In Nashville, rental occupancy was 59% while hotel occupancy was 44%.

Airbnb said it also expects more business people will book vacation rentals, since many can now work from home.

“We believe that the lines between travel and living are blurring, and the global pandemic has accelerated the ability to live anywhere,” Airbnb said in a recent financial filing.

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