Airbnb unveiled long-anticipated plans to go public Monday, defying concerns that the coronavirus pandemic had permanently hurt its business of short-term rentals and revealing the underlying strength of the San Francisco company’s business.
The stock offering, which could take place as soon as December, will likely make Airbnb’s founders and investors billions and turn many employees into millionaires. While taxes on their windfall and spending by the newly wealthy will bolster state and local coffers at a time when such revenue is badly needed, it is unlikely to cause more than a blip in the already hot local real estate market, observers said.
CEO Brian Chesky had said Airbnb intended to go public in 2020, but the filing was delayed by the pandemic. The company raised $2 billion from investors in April and laid off 1,900 employees in May. Travel rebounded, as did Airbnb’s bookings, with many customers opting for closer-in destinations reachable by car rather than flying to far-off destinations and staying at hotels or resorts.
It was not clear from the filing how many shares Airbnb would offer or the price, but analysts in recent months have estimated that the company may seek a value between $30 billion and $38 billion