In spite of the tourism crisis, the accommodation broker made the largest US IPO of the year.
New York / Vienna. An end to the corona crisis is within reach. The markets seem to be of this conviction, as evidenced by the IPO of the Zimmer agency platform Airbnb, which took place on Thursday on the Nasdaq technology exchange.
In advance it was said that the platform had been valued at $ 47.3 billion (EUR 39.06 billion). This is the value that results from multiplying the price of a share sold by all shares (including those that are still in the hands of previous owners). The shares were sold at $ 68, above the targeted price range, said a person familiar with the matter that night. With that, Airbnb earned around $ 3.5 billion.
On Thursday, Airbnb shares were first traded on the Nasdaq. It was the largest IPO in the US this year. The US food delivery service DoorDash only got this title on Wednesday with an IPO. DoorDash had raised $ 3.4 billion and was valued at $ 38 billion.
Hard times for tourism
DoorDash, however, had good prerequisites: Like Delivery Hero and Takeaway and the US rivals Uber Eats and Grubhub, Doordash is benefiting from the increasing demand for food deliveries in the corona pandemic. In the first nine months, the stock market novice’s turnover tripled to $ 1.92 billion.
It hadn’t looked so good for Airbnb a few months ago. After the outbreak of the corona pandemic, which resulted in a drastic decline in the number of bookings and countless cancellations, the rating of the brokerage platform in the last financing round in April fell to $ 18 billion.
Recently, however, it became increasingly clear that the demand for Airbnb shares was greater than expected: A few days ago, the company was still talking about a price range of 44 to 50 US dollars per share. Even this price range had clearly exceeded the expectations of analysts. Then Airbnb officially raised the price range to $ 56 to $ 60, according to filings filed with the SEC filed on Monday. Eventually the company was able to sell its shares at even higher prices.
However, Airbnb has not yet been able to leave the crisis behind. The San Francisco-based company is suffering from travel restrictions and strict hygiene regulations, but is getting through the crisis better than initially expected, as people – if they are currently traveling – like to fall back on private accommodation to have fewer contacts. In 2017 Airbnb was valued at $ 31 billion.
According to insiders, the group has been looking closely at costs since the outbreak of the pandemic, has imposed a hiring freeze and has shut down marketing. The goal is therefore to save $ 800 million this year. Surprisingly for analysts, Airbnb achieved a profit of almost $ 220 million in the third quarter, only slightly less than in the same period last year. In the nine months to the end of September, however, there were losses of nearly $ 697 million.
Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia as a portal to broker rooms during conferences. Investors include Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, but also Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, General Atlantic and TPG.
Flood of IPOs
According to a list by the Bloomberg news agency, the total US IPOs in December will exceed the previous record of 8.3 billion dollars from 2001 and 2003. According to Bloomberg data, companies have already raised $ 156 billion from IPOs in the US this year – more than ever before. (ag./bl)
(“Die Presse”, print edition, December 11th, 2020)