The Airbnb IPO that many investors have been waiting for could come around sooner than expected with some reports that the vacation rentals marketplace company could put in the paperwork later this month for a December IPO.
Back in April Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky had to go cap in hand to investors Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners to ask for $1 billion and was forced to cut nearly 2,000 jobs after global lockdowns slashed the company's revenue. At that point, Airbnb was valued at $18 billion which was significantly less than its 2017 valuation of $31 billion. Chesky, who according to a recent Forbes estimate is worth some $3 billion himself, has decided to forgo a salary for the rest of the year and the company has been getting rid of some side plays it made in the industry and re-focussing on its core model with Chesky admitting in a recent interview that the company had made some mistakes and had “drifted”.
It remains to be seen whether today’s reports are accurate and whether, as previously posited in some quarters, the IPO takes place via a SPAC in the same way that fellow US PropTech company Porch.com did earlier this month. With the company making some positive noises about how booking numbers have rebounded and attempting to move into a longer term rentals market, the valuation of Airbnb when it does eventually IPO will also be interesting to look out for.