Airbnb to Give Stock to Select Hosts

November 19, 2020
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Offer only available for 14% of hosts as vacation rental giant follows lead of OnTheMarket and Boomin in offering equity to listings providers

Airbnb is to offer a directed-share program to its hosts as part of its upcoming IPO. The detail came to light as perhaps the most hotly anticipated stock prospectus of the last few years did the rounds this week with the San Francisco-based firm being somewhat vague with the criteria required for hosts to benefit from the scheme.

Designed to reward loyalty in the same way as ride-sharing app Uber did on its own IPO last year, the stock will reportedly be made available to US-based hosts who have had a certain number of active listings over the last 2 years. However, the equity scheme will exclude all non-US hosts who together make up 86% of the company’s total inventory providers.

Like any marketplace, Airbnb relies heavily on the loyalty of those who supply its inventory, and in addition to the shares program the company will be putting a fund aside made up of 9.2 million class H shares to benefit hosts with “programs, initiatives and grants” with CEO Brian Chesky personally contributing $100 million.

The tactic is not dissimilar to that being used by UK property portals OnTheMarket and Boomin who both currently have programs in place to reward their inventory suppliers with equity.

Perhaps Brian Chesky read our opinion piece back in April on the importance of prioritizing your inventory providers as a marketplace...

November 19, 2020
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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