Unicorn Says It Will Go Public Next Year

Airbnb logo on a smart phone screen

Airbnb logo on a smart phone screen

The home-sharing platform has had a busy summer with strategic plans to expand its reach in several areas of the business leading up to the IPO.

Still, a public listing would mean a payout to the many venture capitalists that have poured money in Airbnb, including Adreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Manhattan Venture Partners. The company had revenue of over $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018, according to TechCrunch. It did not reveal its profits.

The company has been valued privately at $31 billion and earlier this year collected $35 billion from a private share sale.

It declined to provide additional details in today's announcement. Through Sept. 15, hosts who have listed their homes and rooms on Airbnb have now received more than $80 billion in direct payments.

This year marked the debuts of many high-profile IPOs which includes Lyft Inc and Uber, however, the companies have fared rather poorly following their launch, in mid of the investor scepticism over their deficiency of having a solid plan of profitability. WeWork offers shared working spaces with communal office services.

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Investors have begun to question the business models for these startups, with many burning through capital and struggling to convince markets they can turn the corner. But the overall IPO market is performing well.

In the years that followed, Airbnb picked up venture capital investments from industry heavyweights.

Investors are hoping that before going public, Airbnb works out its differences with New York City, which changed its municipal code in 2010 to prohibit apartment rentals of less than 30 days without the legal tenant being present, effectively limiting short-term rentals to spare bedrooms or one- and two-family homes.

But Airbnb has faced some backlash in places like NY and Barcelona, Spain, where it has been accused of encouraging over-tourism and raising rents because it takes living spaces off the market. And it has been adding "experiences" to its platform so guests can book local tours, cooking classes and other activities.

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