Airbnb starts the process to go public: does it make sense with the current state of the tourism sector?

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Airbnb has already promised, in far-off 2019, that 2020 would be their year for the IPO. The arrival of the coronavirus, and the direct effect that the pandemic has had on the international tourism market, suggested that Airbnb would relax its intentions. The reality is that this has not been the case.

In an announcement, Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As Uber did at the time and a few weeks ago DoorDash – a competitor of UberEats -, Airbnb has opted for the confidential route until the SEC completes its review of the data.

Although doubts about the IPO remained in the air, sources close to the operation placed the public offering for the end of this year. Finally, The Wall Street Journal announced that August would be the month in which the technology-based vacation home rental company would apply.

AirBnB
Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission

The company’s valuation reached its peak in 2017, when Airbnb was close to $31 billion. But the coronavirus was here to stay and take over the global tourism industry. Airbnb has not been immune to the blockade of international travel. Today, with pandemics and debt issues, analysts value Airbnb at $18 billion.

Until the presentation of the accounts, public once the company starts its journey on the stock market, it is not clear what the situation will be at the end of the year. With an unclear growth history – just like Uber, before his IPO, secrecy about quarterly results was absolute – what is certain is that the second quarter of 2020 has been bad for his accounts.

Although the company recorded a 30% rise in June, the rest of the year will not go much better for Airbnb which, in addition to losing most of its users, housing supply and reservations – losses valued at over 1,000 million – has also dismissed 2,000 direct employees and terminated agreements with subcontractors. In total, Bloomberg sources suggest that Airbnb would have lost nearly $400 million in just three months.

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