The coronavirus pandemic has been a fairly unmitigated disaster for any and all who serve the now non-existent travel industry: Airlines, car-rental agencies, duty free, hotels. You might expect that short-term vacation rental sites would be among. Certainly, that’s how things looked early in the crisis, when Airbnb stopped paying its hosts, raised billions to stay afloat, cut advertising and slashed a quarter of its workforce.

As it turns out, however, COVID-19 may be the best thing that ever happened to Airbnb. As Americans began self-righteously fleeing their urban homes for the presumed safety (for themselves, of course: the risk of their bringing the disease into previously unaffected small communities never seems to be a consideration) of the suburbs and beyond, the leaner, meaner Airbnb was there for them. And now its ready for its payday.

Airbnb on Wednesday announced that it has submitted a draft registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering….

Airbnb rebounded… after a surge of rentals in rural areas as residents with means fled pandemic-stricken cities.

Airbnb was valued at $18 billion following its latest funding round in April. That was nearly half what the company was worth in 2017.

Airbnb files confidential IPO paperwork [CNBC]


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