After a period of intense speculation, California based vacation rentals giant Airbnb has confirmed it is to go public. The speculation around the mooted IPO had been intense for some time and was ramped up in recent weeks after the Wall Sreet Journal cited unnamed sources that claimed the move was imminent.
Airbnb released a statement on its website yesterday confirming that it had confidentially submitted the necessary papers to the US Securities Exchange Commission. No timeline or details have been given at this point and Airbnb has declined requests for comment from several media outlets. One detail from the statement which might reveal one crucial aspect of the move is that the words “initial public offering” are mentioned specifically which would appear to imply that more novel methods of going public such as via a SPAC might not be used. Among the points of speculation had been that Airbnb would follow the example of fellow PropTech company Porch.com from earlier in the month and go public via a shell company or via a direct-listing process as Spotify did.
It remains to be seen what price the company floats at, but with CEO Brian Chesky recently admitting that travel around the world has fundamentally changed and with cities such as Barcelona looking to toughen their stance on Airbnb properties and Mexico City looking to ban the company outright the horizon is far from clear.