The next step: Airbnb plans to go public in 2020

by | 02 Oct 2019 | News

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. (Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images)

The $31 million company did not specify an exact timeline beyond 2020.

Airbnb, which was once an upstart tech platform for residents to share homes with travellers, has announced plans to go public as a company in 2020 but declined to be more specific about its timeline.

Indeed, many questions remain about these plans, including whether Airbnb has confidentially filed its S-1 IPO paperwork, which would include the basic financial information for potential investors to consider.

An Airbnb spokesperson has also been cited recently as declining to comment when asked whether that paperwork has already been filed.

Airbnb’s potential IPO plans

As recently as March of this year, Airbnb has teased potential IPO plans, with company co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk saying it “had not decided if we will go public in 2019.”

“We have already said that we are taking the steps to be ready to go public in 2019. That doesn’t mean we will go public in 2019,” Mr Blecharczyk told the publication Business Insider in a March email interview.

In lieu of what has transpired since, it now appears as if the company ultimately decided not to do so in 2019, but rather to defer those plans until 2020.

High anticipation

Airbnb’s initial public offering is highly anticipated by Wall Street. It’s not hard to see why given that according to PitchBook, the start-up was last privately valued at $31 billion in September 2017. For the 3rd quarter of 2018, TechCrunch reported their revenue broke the $1 billion mark.

In November last year, former Amazon vice president Dave Stephenson also joined Airbnb, which fuelled market hopes and anticipation that the company would go public soon.

Now, it looks like that moment is imminent. It’s a far cry from the days in which the company and its platform were somewhat roundly dismissed as a threat by the global hospitality industry.

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