Airbnb jumped the price of its shares ahead of its IPO this week and could soar with a valuation of up to $ 42 billion (£ 31.5 billion).
In a government statement filed in the U.S. on Monday, Airbnb announced that the price of its shares will range from $ 56 to $ 60, from $ 44 to $ 50 earlier this month.
Airbnb is expected to post a final share price late Wednesday, prior to Thursday’s initial public offering on the Nasdaq in New York.
The new price would allow the San Francisco-based shared apartment company to raise up to $ 3.4 billion on offer, with a valuation of $ 42 billion on the high end of the range. That’s more than double the $ 18 billion the company was valued at during a private fundraising round back this spring when the pandemic halted travel and the outlook was uncertain.
Immediately after the virus outbreak, Airbnb struggled. In May around 1,900 jobs were cut and projects that were not directly related to the core business were terminated. But as the lockdowns subsided, more travelers opted to book homes rather than hotels, which helped Airbnb generate a surprise third-quarter profit.
The company’s IPO will be one of the largest US public offerings of 2020, which has already been a bumpy year for IPOs.
Airbnb was launched in 2007 as a site where room conferencing can be booked, including the Democratic National Convention in Denver that year. Other investors include the Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and the buyout companies General Atlantic and TPG.
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Airbnb has more than 7 million entries on its platform operated by 4 million hosts worldwide.
Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, said travel is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels with the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines.
However, he warned: “The main risk factors for Airbnb are the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on travel and whether it has changed people’s habits. The company is also a target for metropolitan regulation protecting their hotel industry from people renting their private homes at lower prices than hotels. “