Airbnb shares more than double the price of long-awaited IPO

Airbnb shares closed at $ 144.71 each, more than double the price of $ 68 Airbnb set for its market debut.
Image Credit: AP

New York: Airbnb, the San Francisco-based roommate company made a triumphant entry into the public market on Thursday. Its shares closed at $ 144.71 each, more than double the price of $ 68 set by Airbnb. The closing price gave the company a valuation of just over $ 100 billion. The shares trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “ABNB”.

Instead of the traditional ringing of the bell before trading day, Airbnb featured a video of Airbnb hosts from around the world ringing the doorbell. In a video message, CEO Brian Chesky also thanked the millions of guests who stayed on his lists. In 2019 alone, 54 million customers stayed at an Airbnb.

“You gave us hope that the idea of ​​strangers staying together, in each other’s homes, wasn’t that crazy after all,” Chesky said. “Airbnb is rooted in the fundamental idea that people are good and that we are in the same boat. “

Airbnb raised $ 3.7 billion in its offering, making it the largest IPO in the United States this year, according to Renaissance Capital, which tracks IPOs. The company initially set a price range of $ 44 to $ 50 for its shares, but raised it to a range of $ 56 to $ 60 earlier this week, indicating growing investor demand.

Airbnb’s listing comes a day after another San Francisco-based company DoorDash soared thanks to its initial public offering, the second after Airbnb’s. DoorDash stock jumped 85.8% to close at $ 189.51. The meal delivery app has raised $ 3.4 billion with its offering.

Airbnb wants to add more hosts and properties, expand into markets like India, China and Latin America, and attract new customers.

First of all, he will have to recover. Airbnb _ which has never recorded an annual profit _ said its revenue fell 32% to $ 2.5 billion in the first nine months of this year as the coronavirus forced travelers to cancel their plans. The company delayed its IPO _ initially scheduled for spring _ and financed its operations with $ 2 billion in loans. In May, Airbnb cut 1,900 employees _ or 25% of its workforce _ and discontinued programs unrelated to its core business, such as film production.

But in the months that followed, Airbnb’s business rebounded faster than hotels, as travelers felt safer booking private homes away from crowded city centers during the pandemic.

Airbnb said the number of nights and experiences booked, which fell 72% in April from levels a year ago, was down 20% in September. Airbnb launched experiences _ from cooking lessons to surf lessons _ in 2016.

“I think demand for travel will likely follow vaccinations and people’s confidence,” Chesky told The Associated Press in an interview. Demand can be patchy at first and will return region by region and even country by country, Chesky said.

The trips themselves could change after the pandemic, he said. Some people are already renting Airbnbs for months, combining work and vacation. The company is also seeing more and more travel nearby, as people just want to get away from their homes.

Airbnb now has 7.4 million listings, from castles to treehouses, in 220 countries. They are operated by 4 million hosts. The company controls around 39% of the global short-term rental market, according to Euromonitor. It’s the market leader in Europe, but behind VRBO, an Expedia-owned vacation rental company, in North America.

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