Airbnb files to go public as the pandemic rages on

Even as the pandemic that wrecked its business flares up again, Airbnb is poised to make its public market debut this year.

The company filed its long-awaited IPO paperwork Monday, revealing that it turned a profit of $219 million in the third quarter of this year, on $1.34 billion in revenue. By comparison, it made $227 million in profit during the same quarter last year on $1.65 billion in revenue. The third quarter was the only quarter the company was profitable in 2019.

The first half of 2020 was bleak for Airbnb, whose platform is used to find and book accommodations in 220 countries and regions around the world. The company reported that through June 30, it incurred net losses of $916 million on revenue of $1.18 billion.
“During the fourth quarter of 2020, another wave of Covid-19 infections emerged,” the company wrote in its filing, warning that it expects to see greater declines in bookings and cancellations in the current quarter than in the third quarter of this year.
Airbnb plans to list on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker “ABNB.”
In its filing, the company outlined that it is “subject to a wide variety of complex, evolving, and sometimes inconsistent and ambiguous laws and regulations that may adversely impact our operations and discourage hosts and guests from using our platform, and that could cause us to incur significant liabilities including fines and criminal penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”
More recently, Airbnb has grappled with the misuse of Airbnb rental properties for house parties. In August, the company announced a global ban on all parties and events at Airbnb listings, capping occupancy to 16 people. During the pandemic, some cities temporarily cracked down on short-term rentals, and hosts were forced to pivot rentals to 30 days or longer.

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