Airbnb is reportedly close to filing IPO, marking a surprise turnaround for the company that recently cut a quarter of its workforce during the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports that the home-sharing company is planning to file IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this month and could be publicly listed by the end of the year.
Airbnb didn’t immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment. Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are backing the offering, the Journal said. It also cautioned there’s “no guarantee” that Airbnb will follow that timeline because of choppy market conditions.
A filing this year isn’t a total surprise because the company was aiming for a 2020 public debut, according to previous multiple reports. However, the downturn in travel sparked by the global coronavirus pandemic possibly derailed those plans. Business has rebounded from the spring’s nadir — Airbnb recorded a surge in bookings around Memorial Day.
Shares could begin trading by the end of the year. Airbnb declined to comment.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of its market debut.
The company was expected to go public earlier this year but has put those plans on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and laid off 25% of its staff, or roughly 1,900 employees, to cut costs. At the time, CEO Brian Chesky told employees that its 2020 revenue will be less than half of what the company earned in 2019.
The pandemic has been a huge hurdle for the short-term rental company to overcome, as it has devastated the travel and hospitality industries.
Airbnb’s private valuation has dropped to $18 billion, down from the $31 billion figure when it raised a round of funding in 2017. The company also raised $1 billion in April in equity and debt from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners to get through the crisis. It raised another $1 billion just a week later from Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and BlackRock.