Thursday 17 October, 2019

Airbnb says it will go public in 2020

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event in San Francisco in February. (AP Photo)

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event in San Francisco in February. (AP Photo)

Home-sharing company Airbnb Inc. said Thursday it plans to go public in 2020.

It's a long-awaited move for the San Francisco company, which was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia who put air mattresses on their apartment floor and charged $80 per night when they needed extra cash.

Since then, Airbnb has grown into one of the largest home-sharing platforms. The company said earlier this week it has more than 7 million listings in 100,000 cities worldwide.

Airbnb also said it made "substantially more than" $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year, the second time in its history that revenue topped $1 billion. It didn't reveal its profits.

But investors may be cautious after some big IPO flops in 2019. The ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft debuted on the market earlier this year, but they continue to lose money and both are trading well below their IPO prices.

WeWork, which runs shared office spaces, delayed its IPO earlier this week.

Airbnb has spent the last several years broadening its offerings in advance of an expected IPO. In May, it bought Hotel Tonight to help guests find last-minute hotel deals. In 2017, it acquired Luxury Retreats in order to raise the level of its accommodations.

And it has been adding "experiences" to its platform so guests can book local tours, cooking classes and other activities.

But Airbnb has faced some backlash in places like New York and Barcelona, Spain, where it has been accused of encouraging over-tourism and raising rents because it takes living spaces off the market.

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