Airbnb gears up for IPO despite tourism crash
Airbnb Inc. said it has filed to go public in a long-awaited listing as the company emerges from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The San Francisco-based company said Wednesday in a statement that it submitted its filing for an initial public offering confidentially to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The size and price range for the offering haven’t been set yet, the company said.
The comeback for travel following the first peak of the pandemic was faster than expected and helped keep Airbnb’s plans for a public market debut on track. The company earlier planned to file with the SEC on March 31 but was waylaid by the pandemic-related market turmoil, leading to speculation the listing would be shelved until next year, Bloomberg News has reported.
Airbnb was valued at US$31 billion at its peak in a 2017 private fund-raising round, though US$2 billion in debt issuance to shore up its finances this year has significantly reduced that valuation. In a round of debt and equity securities in April that included Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, the warrants valued the company at US$18 billion, Bloomberg reported.
Airbnb had been leaning toward a direct listing in which it wouldn’t raise money by selling new shares as it would in a traditional IPO. Instead, its investors could have put their shares on the market without waiting for a lock-up period.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit, the company was reevaluating whether it should instead pursue an IPO to raise cash for the business, people familiar with the matter said in March.