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SILVER LINING?

Airbnb might be losing all of its bookings, but it’s still got the interest of investors. The home-away-from-home booking site is set to close a $1B investment from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.

The valuation of couch surfing's younger cousin wasn’t disclosed, but it’s certainly less than the $31B valuation following an investment back in 2017. In fact, Airbnb internally valued itself at $26B in early March.

It's probably safe to assume that Silver Lake and Sixth Street bent Airbnb over a barrel. Thanks, COVID.

Coronavirus has also derailed the company’s plan to go public. Airbnb wanted to IPO early this year, but as of now, it sounds like late 2020 is the best case scenario.

For the greater good

Airbnb will use the injection to support longer-term rental opportunities while backing property owners within its ecosystem.

At least $5M of the new investment will be added to a relief fund to support hosts needing financial relief. Read: bribing hosts not to go to Vrbo when shelter in place is lifted.

It could be worse

Airbnb scoring a bailout is a W for CEO Brian Chesky and team. Even if it is a down-round. Hotel and hospitality businesses have been absolutely ravaged by COVID-19 cutbacks. Marriott and Booking Holdings stocks alone have fallen 53% and 34% this year, respectively.

The bottom line...

It’s not the hand you’re dealt, but how you play it... as they say.

Despite the current state of affairs, Airbnb, in true scrappy startup fashion, is ready to adapt and overcome. The company is using at least part of the tres-comma cash infusion to focus on diversifying its business model.

Specifically, the company is looking at longer-term stays aimed at students and workers on remote assignments.

Airbnb is raising $1 billion amid fallout from coronanvirus [CNBC]

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