Airbnb priced its long-awaited initial public offering above a marketed range to raise about $3.5 billion, capping a year in which it bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing on closer-to-home travel.
The home-rental company’s IPO came just hours after DoorDash almost doubled from its listing price in its debut trading session, adding to a flurry of consumer-facing web-based companies going public this month.
Airbnb and its investors are selling about 52 million shares Wednesday for $68 each after marketing them for $56 to $60 each, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public yet. At that price, Airbnb has a fully diluted value of about $47 billion, which includes employee stock options and restricted stock units.
A representative for Airbnb declined to comment.
Airbnb’s listing adds to what was already a record year for IPOs, with more than $163 billion raised on U.S. exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes DoorDash’s $3.37 billion offering. Other companies lined up for IPOs this month include video-game company Roblox, installment loans provider Affirm Holdings and ContextLogic, the parent of online discount retailer Wish.
DoorDash’s first-day surge propelled its valuation, including employee stock options and restricted stock units, to about $71 billion. An increase of a little more than 51% when Airbnb shares begin trading Thursday would push the company’s valuation past that of DoorDash.
San Francisco-based Airbnb had seen a bounce back in domestic bookings since the early days of the pandemic crushed demand.
In a letter to shareholders, the three co-founders said the 10 months since the pandemic have been “the most defining period since we started Airbnb.”
In the past 13 years, Airbnb has upended the travel market, given people an opportunity for income and created a new market for services related to real estate and hosts. Today, Airbnb is one of the biggest travel companies in the world.
The company’s IPO plans were put on hold in March as the pandemic ground global travel to a halt. By April, room bookings had plunged 72%. Airbnb rolled out a blanket refund policy and doled out more than $1 billion in cancellation fees.
By June, though, things were starting to look up. City dwellers who were sick of being stuck inside their homes got in their cars and drove to mountain towns and rural communities, often setting up for weeks or months at a time as work-from-home policies allowed.
International travel was down, but demand for domestic, short-distance trips and stays outside of the top 20 cities was proving resilient. In the third quarter, Airbnb’s revenue declined only 18%, compared to the near 60% decline for Expedia Group and Marriott International. The three-month period was also Airbnb’s most profitable ever, based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Airbnb’s offering is being led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group. Shares of Airbnb are expected to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol ABNB.
With assistance by Crystal Tse