World News – US – Airbnb shares to double in IPO

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Airbnb is set to double its share price on its IPO debut on Thursday at the latest in a wave of hotly anticipated tech IPOs later in a tumultuous year due to the pandemic.

The shares were priced at $ 68 on Wednesday and are expected to hit $ 150 when the stock starts trading, according to early signs prior to initial trading. Airbnb is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker « ABNB ».

The company is going public at a time when reduced travel trends hit the sector during the public health crisis. Revenue declined nearly 19% to $ 1 in the most recent quarter. 34 billion compared to the same period last year. But it still managed to turn in a profit of $ 219 million, and there were other intermittently profitable quarters as well.

While travel costs were lower, Airbnb managed to find a sweet spot for those willing to hit the road who prefer private stays over traditional hotels. That could change when vaccines make travel more accessible again, possibly as early as late next year.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in an interview with CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa on the Thursday before going public that the platform is considering changing the way travelers want to plan their trips as remote working is an option for many is.

« Now that people are coming to Airbnb, they don’t even necessarily have a destination or dates in mind because they are flexible. We’re all obviously on zoom and people are saying I want to go 300 miles everywhere around me, what can you show me, « he said. « Now we’re going to dig a little more into the game of inspiration and tune people into the perfect home experience for them. « . « 

« I don’t think I will be any more worried than I did in April and May, when our business fell 80% in eight weeks in the middle of a pandemic, » he said.

Airbnb struggled with complaints from hosts on its platform at the beginning of the pandemic when the company indulged guest cancellations, leaving hosts with no expected payments. A Texas-based host filed a class action lawsuit against the company last month alleging Airbnb breached its contract with hosts by offering the refunds. Airbnb called the lawsuit « frivolous and without merit » in a statement at the time.

As part of the IPO, Airbnb set up an endowment fund for hosts that consists of 9 people. 2 million non-voting shares were put aside. Airbnb said in its IPO prospectus that the fund would benefit hosts through programs and grants.

« We want hosts to share in our success, not just for a moment, but as long as Airbnb exists in the world, » the company wrote. « We intend that the Host Endowment Fund will be a long-term investment in the future of our hosting community, built by hosts for hosts. « 

Airbnb was named eight times on CNBC’s annual Disruptor 50 list and ranks 41st out of 2020 Disruptor 50 companies.

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World News – USA – Airbnb shares will double in IPO
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Ref: https://www.cnbc.com

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