Airbnb Files Confidential IPO Paperwork

The filing comes more than a month after the short-term rental giant reported an encouraging uptick in bookings.
Image courtesy of Airbnb

Short-term rental platform Airbnb announced it has submitted a draft resignation to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

The San Francisco-based firm announced it submitted the confidential paperwork on Wednesday, but did not disclose the number of shares to be offered nor the price range for the proposed offering. According to the legally required statement announcing the filing, the IPO is expected to go forward after the SEC completes a review process.

READ ALSO: Top 5 Cities for RevPAR Drop in Home-Sharing

Airbnb’s announcement did not come as a surprise. The company indicated in a press release last fall that it expected to file for an IPO sometime in 2020. The filing comes more than a month after the short-term rental giant reported more than 1 million bookings on a single day, the first time in more than four months that the threshold had been reached.

Co-founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008, Airbnb grew over the years to become a formidable, global competitor to traditional lodging assets like hotels, motels and B&Bs.

However, after the coronavirus outbreak caused widespread shutdowns in March, major home-sharing players like Airbnb and Vrbo took a major hit to revenues. By May, Airbnb announced it was laying off 25 percent of its employees while a report by Guesty found that reservation cancellations across several short-term rental platforms had increased more than 76 percent for the spring and summer months.

However, the home-sharing sector has been experiencing a rebound since bottoming out in March. According to a June report from AirDNA, vacation rental bookings across the U.S. were up 20 percent year-over-year. States like Illinois, New York, Hawaii and Massachusetts performed the poorest in terms of new bookings, while states with the most growth were West Virginia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Wyoming and Delaware.

Before the pandemic hit, Airbnb had also faced lawsuits and other challenges over the legality of their model. Last fall, Jersey City voters approved measures to clamp down on the short-term rental platform, following similar measures in Boston just months earlier. New York City passed a law in 2018 that significantly restricted short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, but the law was blocked by a federal judge early last year after Airbnb and HomeAway sued, calling the law unconstitutional.