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Airbnb seeks valuation up to $35B in IPO filing

Airbnb is seeking to raise some $2.6 billion in its upcoming share offering, which could give the home-sharing giant a valuation as high as $35 billion, an updated regulatory filing showed Tuesday, December 1.

The California group said its initial public offering would include some 51.9 million shares in a range of $44 to $50.

The latest filing appeared to confirm an upbeat outlook for Airbnb, which has claimed its home-sharing model has proved resilient during the global coronavirus pandemic with travelers seeking safer lodgings and avoiding crowded hotels.

Airbnb offered no date for the start of trading, which is expected sometime this month under the trading symbol ABNB.

The company may still update its offering price, but at current levels the valuation would be as much as $35 billion including restricted stock and options. The IPO would raise between $2.3 billion and $2.6 billion at the current range.

The San Francisco-based startup released details of its finances last month as part of its regulatory filing. 

It delivered a $219 million profit in the three months ending in September, but nonetheless lost $697 million in the first nine months of the year amid a 32% revenue drop as the Covid-19 outbreak crushed the travel sector.

Airbnb revenue slipped to $2.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020 from $3.7 billion a year earlier. Its losses for the nine-month period were roughly in line with last year's level.

The company has had mostly losing quarters, according to the filing, but has reported profits in the third quarter of each year from 2018.

But Airbnb said its unique business model has proven to be valuable both for hosts and travelers seeking a safe environment during the global health crisis.

The Airbnb listing comes amid a flurry of public offerings, many from the tech sector and on-demand economy, which have seen resilience and growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week food delivery service DoorDash said it aimed to raise upwards of $2 billion in a stock market debut valuing the startup at more than $25 billion.

The startup valued at $16 billion during a private funding round in June has seen a surge in demand for delivery of meals and groceries for consumers staying at home during the health crisis.

The operator of the mobile e-commerce startup Wish also filed documents for a share offering last month, revealing a user base of more than 100 million.

Cloud data warehouse startup Snowflake and data analytics firm Palantir also went public in recent weeks, while gaming startup Roblox has set plans for its IPO. – Rappler.com