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Airbnb Files To Go Public

Brian Chesky, Founder and CEO, Airbnb

After long periods of speculation and anticipation, Airbnb, the online rentals marketplace, has formally submitted a public filing for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission. Airbnb is looking to go public 12 years after its founding and with $6.4 billion in equity and debt funding raised over the years as a private company. Particularly, Airbnb is said to be targeting an IPO before the year runs out.

Airbnb's S-1 filing shows $4.8 billion in 2019 revenue and a net loss of $674 million in the same year. In the year before that, the company had $3.65 billion in revenue and a net loss of only $16.9 million.

In the first nine months of this year, however, Airbnb saw its revenue go down by a wide margin as the early months of the coronavirus pandemic brought about global travel restrictions that widely affected its business. The company posted $2.5 billion in revenue in the nine months leading up to September, compared to $3.7 billion in the same period of the previous year. The company's losses also more than doubled within that period from $323 million to $697 million.

As of the end of September this year, Airbnb reported having $4.5 billion in available cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet. A significant part of that amount comes from the $2 billion in fresh debt and equity funding that the company raised in April this year when the coronavirus pandemic largely affected its business. The funding came from a group of private equity firms including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.

Notably, Airbnb actually turned a profit in its most recent quarter, reporting $219 million in net income on revenues of $1.34 billion. It comes after the company laid off one-quarter of its workforce in May this year.

Airbnb intends to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “ABNB”. The company's public offering is being managed by a party of investment banks including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, Jefferies, and Allen & Company. 

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