Airbnb has been rumoured to launch an IPO since long. The company has finally revealed that it is going public next year.
In a press release on its website on Thursday, it stated, "Airbnb, Inc. announced today that it expects to become a publicly-traded company during 2020.
This press release is being made pursuant to, and in accordance with, Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act."
The company has grown leaps and bounds since its launch in 2008 and is currently valued at $30 billion. It has listings with the eight largest hotel groups in the world. Since it works on hospitality, that makes it one of the biggest hospitality brands in the world.
It generated $1 billion in revenue in Q2 2019. Airbnb shares rank with the likes of Uber and Lyft, but has been conspicuously late in launching an IPO. It has also seen the recent fate of WeWork co-working space start-up shelving its IPO plans due to the lack of funding.
Airbnb is also differentiated in the fact that among all these companies, it is the only one that is profitable. It recently acquired hoteling companies such as Urbandoor and HotelTonight earlier this year.
Its revenue model may have to change soon though. There have been calls for quality control and increased government regulation of its model. Its biggest issue remains its biggest asset – its hosts. Hosts have been accused of being racist, negligent, uncaring about hygiene or even indulging in criminal behaviours such as spy cam recording.
The company which relies on free model ensuring transactions between hosts and guests needs to streamline a process that takes care of these issues.