Airbnb eyes blockbuster IPO as global tourism recovers slowly

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Riding on the unexpected and sharp recovery wave in the global travel industry, American vacation rental marketplace, Airbnb is weighing in a $3 billion initial public offering (IPO) in the near future.  

According to data analytics firm Palantir Technologies and data warehouse company, Snowflake Inc, Airbnb’s listing on the U.S. stock market is deemed as one of the biggest and most anticipated IPOs with a similar buzz to what record label Warner Music Group garnered earlier this year.

The service is eyeing for an IPO sometime in December with a confidential filing alre3ady carried out with U.S. regulators early in August. It is expected that the firm will share more details regarding its listing in November post the U.S presidential election to meet its December timeline for the Public listing but all of this can still change depending on the market conditions post the US elections.

Sources suggest that Airbnb can potentially achieve a higher valuation than $30 billion in the IPO which is considerably higher than the $18 billion valuation at which it had raised $2 billion in debt from investors. The most recent independent appraisal of the fair market value of its stock pegged its worth at around $21 billion.

The potential IPO and higher than expected valuation is a stark transformation from an uncertain situation the firm was when it secured emergency funding from investors earlier this year driven by the highly volatile and grim outlook od the travel sector.

The service’s recovery has been largely attributed to the shift of preference made by travelers to shy away from larger hotels and opting for larger hotels accessible by driving. The company said that its customers booked more than 1 million nights in a single day in July for the first time since March 3.

U.S. online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc which is often seen as a conservative benchmark for Airbnb’s performance and valuation has also witnessed more than 35 percent growth for its shares in the past 6 months.