Tuesday 1 December 2020 4:06 pm

Airbnb targets $35bn valuation in blockbuster float

Airbnb is targeting a $35bn (£26bn) valuation in what is set to be one of the final blockbuster stock market listings this year.

In a filing today the holiday rental firm said it will look to raise up to $2.6bn from its initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange, which is set to take place on 10 December.

Airbnb will look to sell 52m shares at a target price range of between $44 and $50, giving it a potential valuation of $34.8bn.

This is almost double the $18bn price tag it secured following a private fundraising round in April.

The bumper float – one of several big-ticket tech listings in the second half of this year – will prove a mammoth payday for Airbnb’s founders.

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk will sell a combined $100m worth of shares just 13 years after founding the holiday site.

Airbnb is ploughing ahead despite the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, which plunged the company to a wider loss in the first nine months of the year.

The San Francisco-based firm posted a $576m loss at the height of the crisis in the second quarter, was forced to cut a quarter of its workforce and sought $2bn in emergency funding from investors.

But Airbnb swung back to a surprise profit in the third quarter thanks to cost cutting and a bounce back in demand.

Nevertheless, in a filing last month the company warned it was unlikely to turn a profit for the full year, and warned of continued pressure from ongoing coronavirus lockdowns.

Airbnb’s IPO is likely to be viewed as the jewel in the crown following a spate of high-profile stock market debuts.

A number of major tech firms, including Palantir and Snowflake, have gone public in recent months after enjoying a boost to trading during the pandemic.

Door Dash is also set to go public this month, with the food delivery platform hoping for a valuation of roughly $27bn.

In the UK, Deliveroo, Darktrace and Music Magpie are all mulling London IPOs in the coming months.