Airbnb Still Eyeing The Public Market Despite Pandemic Effects

Airbnb plans on filing for an initial public offering this month, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. 

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It’s big news, as the short-term home rental company was arguably 2020’s most anticipated tech IPO. But then the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in mid-March, throwing the economy for a loop–especially hammering the travel industry. Airbnb was affected, raising questions if the company would go through with an IPO after all.

Now a public debut will reportedly still be happening this year. And with Airbnb’s valuation at $18 billion (per the Journal, and down from an earlier valuation of $31 billion) it would be among a small group of companies to go public with such a high valuation in the last five years. 

Since 2014, there have only been five U.S.-based venture-backed companies with initial post-public valuations of $10 billion or more*. Those companies were more or less household names: Uber, Lyft, Slack, Pinterest and Snap.

*Post-IPO valuation reflects valuation before shares begin trading.


Total Funding: $24.7 billion

IPO Date: May 9, 2019

Valuation At IPO: $82.4 billion

IPO Share Price: $45


Total Funding: $4.9 billion

IPO Date: March 29, 2019

Valuation At IPO: $24 billion

IPO Share Price: $72


Total Funding: $1.4 billion

Direct Listing Date: June 20, 2019

Valuation: $23 billion

Reference Price: $26 


Total Funding: $1.5 billion

IPO Date: April 18, 2019

Valuation At IPO: $12.7 billion

IPO Share Price: $19


Total Funding: $4.9 billion

IPO Date: March 2, 2017

Valuation At IPO: $33 billion 

IPO Share Price: $24

We can’t really speculate what Airbnb’s IPO will look like. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the world with COVID-19, and that could affect the company’s plans or the public market’s reception to Airbnb. We’ll have more when we can get a look at the company’s S-1 registration document.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias


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