Thursday 5 November 2020 11:53 am

Airbnb to go public ‘as early as next week’

Airbnb is set to make its initial public offering (IPO) listing as early as next week, according to reports, as the home rental company attempts to cash in on investor wanderlust during the pandemic.

Airbnb has laid out plans to set an IPO price range in December, according to Reuters.

The firm last month suggested it was aiming to raise around $3bn (£2.3bn) from a stock market listing, with the hopes of achieving a valuation of more than $30bn subject to market conditions.

Airbnb last year said it intended to go public by the end of 2020, raising hopes of an IPO blockbuster in an already booming year for public listings.

Warner Music Group, Palantir and Snowflake have all made their stock market debuts this year.

An IPO for the US home rentals firm would mark a dramatic recovery from earlier this year, when Airbnb secured $2bn of emergency funding from investors to help it weather the pandemic.

Bookings on the platform were down by more than 80 per cent at its lowest point during the coronavirus crisis, forcing Airbnb to cut 25 per cent of its workforce.

But the rentals firm has rapidly regained ground since March, following a summer boom that saw holidaymakers ditch hotels for home rentals as quarantine measures crippled the aviation industry.

The company said in July that customers had booked more than 1m nights in a single day for the first time since 3 March.

Airbnb last month announced it had brought in Apple titan Jony Ive to oversee a redesign of the firm’s products and services.

Ive, who quit as Apple’s chief design officer last year, will also redesign Airbnb’s website and app, as the San Francisco firm looks to shrug off smaller rivals while the hospitality industry suffers during the pandemic.

Airbnb did not respond to City A.M’s request for comment.

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