Airbnb filed paperwork for an initial public offering that says it has rebounded strongly from the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic, showing the resilience of its business model.
In its IPO prospectus, the home rental startup said its business declined by nearly 80% as the pandemic disrupted travel worldwide.
“We had to put our IPO on hold, and I don’t think many people expected us to go public this year,” CEO Brian Chesky said. “I know some people questioned if we’d make it at all. What has transpired since then has been our most defining period since we started Airbnb.”
For the first nine months of the year, Airbnb’s gross booking value fell 39% to $18.0 billion and revenue dropped 32% to $2.5 billion. But the company turned a net profit of $219 million in the third quarter after three straight quarterly losses.
“Our business rebounded faster than anyone expected, and it showed that as the world changes, our model is able to adapt,” Chesky said.
According to Airbnb, the rebound was fueled by millions of guests taking trips closer to home and stays of longer than a few days increasing as “work-from-home became work-from-any-home on Airbnb.”
Analysts expect the IPO to raise about $3 billion, valuing Airbnb at $30 billion.
“The listing would cap a blockbuster year for IPOs, as companies capitalize on a stock market rally in the second half of the year, fueled by monetary as well as fiscal stimulus in a bid to blunt the fallout of the pandemic,” Reuters said.
The prospectus showed Airbnb has grown rapidly, with revenue increasing from $2.5 billion in 2017 to $4.8 billion last year. But the company has not turned an annual profit since its launch in 2008 and is expecting a decline in bookings and rise in cancellations in the fourth quarter.
“In light of the evolving nature of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it has produced around the world, we do not believe it is possible to predict COVID-19’s cumulative and ultimate impact on our future business, results of operations, and financial condition,” it said.