Airbnb’s Preparing For An IPO, Filed For NASDAQ Listings

For a long time, Airbnb, Inc. had been preparing its IPO, but these plans were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel firm, whose digital platform is for short-term rental and entertainment services, released its IPO prospectus (documentation S-1) on Monday, which was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Airbnb plans to list its shares under the symbol ‘ABNB’ on Nasdaq. The company announced that it would have three classes of shares. Class A would give the right to one vote per share, class B (for founders and early investors) would give the right to 20 votes per share, class H would not have the right to vote (the company expects 9.2 million of such shares to be produced).

When the travel industry was paralyzed, and visitors abandoned long journeys, Airbnb suffered strong negative effects from the pandemic.

Airbnb’s sales rose at a fast pace through 2019, according to the prospectus, but the company’s gross net loss rose dramatically last year from $16.9 million to $674.4 million.

The pandemic crisis resulted in a total of $2.5 billion in Airbnb sales for the first 9 months of 2020, compared to $3.7 billion. Losses have rose from $322.8 million to $696.9 million for the same nine months in 2019.

Airbnb has sometimes managed to make a profit at the same time: in the second and third quarters of 2018 and in the third quarter of 2019.

The company’s last quarter net income of $219 million on sales of $1.34 billion was also a good indicator in the face of the pandemic, although this is still 19 percent lower than the revenue generation of $1.65 billion in the same quarter of last year.

Airbnb stressed its business model in its prospectus, focused on direct contact between visitors and homeowners, which creates a “special culture” and separates the website of the company from competitors.

The management of Airbnb noted that the company is seeing a shift in the actions of travelers who have altered long-distance trips to “closer to home” and short-term rentals for a few days for longer periods due to the pandemic. The reasons for the changes were the changing conditions of quarantine in different countries, the increase in COVID incidence, as well as the shift of people to remote work and training.

Moreover as two American companies, Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) are already preparing to start manufacturing COVID vaccines; travel businesses are getting the prerequisites to restore growth. “Moderna claimed 94.5 percent efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in the articles “Pfizer and BioNTech claimed more than 90 percent efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine,” Moderna claimed.”

The vaccines give hope that by the end of 2021, the global tourism industry could be nearing its pre-pandemic status.

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