Living Room


number of total users on Airbnb


people staying in an Airbnb per night


global Airbnb listings worldwide


valuation based off recent stock sale


Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short-term lodging in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries across the globe. Now valued at $35 billion, the company is also helping travelers explore the world outside their rentals.

Airbnb was preparing to take the company public back in March 2020, but then the pandemic took hold, travel came to a standstill and its initial public offering (IPO) was postponed. Now it is back on the table and expected to list before 2020 is out. The timing is curious, and rumours of a $40 billion valuation seem far-fetched, but in the year of the unexpected could it make perfect sense? 

Many analysts presumed it would be on hold until a vaccine is developed, to ensure recovery in the tourism industry. The company has not confirmed why it is choosing not to wait, but with ambitious plans in the pipeline it could simply be a case of “there is no time like the present”.

Markets are filled with optimism amid a depressed world and this may very well turn out to be the IPO of the year.


IPO PREP FOR 2020 / 2021

  • Airbnb has $3.5 billion in cash
  • $25.9 million raised in most recent funding round (Aug 2019)
  • Total funding as of March 2020 $4.8 billion, raised across 10 funding rounds
  • 400,000 companies directly engage with Airbnb to manage travel
  • Average stay with Airbnb for work is 5 days but short trips are increasingly popular
  • Airbnb for Work also offers team-building experiences, offsite locations for meetings and relocations


  • Expedia Group
  • HomeAway
  • Booking Holdings (formerly Priceline)
  • VRBO
  • Trivago


  • Over 150 million users worldwide
  • 6 guests check into an Airbnb listing every second
  • The average rent received by hosts per guest arrival in 2018 was $185.00
  • There have been over half a billion Airbnb stays since the company started
  • There are over 650,000 hosts worldwide
  • There are over 7 million listings worldwide in over 220 countries and regions
  • As of January 2020, there are over 100,000 cities with Airbnb listings
  • In December 2019, 10.4 million guests stayed in an Airbnb for the holidays:​
  • On any given night, 2 million people are staying in Airbnb rentals across the world
  • Airbnb’s main website saw 91 million visits in January 2020 with 50% of traffic through mobile devices
  • Airbnb’s yearly revenue in 2018 was $3.6 billion, increase of 38% from 2017
  • Airbnb’s yearly revenue in 2017 was $2.6 billion, increase of 73% from 2016
  • In 2018, Airbnb listings constituted 5.5% of the total demand for lodging in the U.S.


In 2018, the top 1o countries that saw a direct economic impact from Airbnb based on host income and estimated guest spending were:

  • United States: $33.8 billion
  • France: $10.8 billion
  • Spain: $6.9 billion
  • Italy: $6.4 billion
  • United Kingdom: $5.6 billion
  • Australia: $4.4 billion
  • Canada: $4.3 billion
  • Japan: $3.5 billion
  • Mexico: $2.7 billion
  • Portugal: $2.3 billion


  • United States — 660,000 listings
  • France — 485,000 listings
  • Italy — 340,000 listings
  • Spain — 245,000 listings
  • United Kingdom — 175,000 listings
  • Mexico: $2.7 billion
  • Portugal: $2.3 billion



Since its inception, the Airbnb business model has been well received as it affords flexibility to both homeowners and holiday makers. It is also unique in that every host listed has a vested interest in its future success. 


It generates its revenue through service fees and commissions. It collects 3% commission from its hosts and 6-12% service fee from guests. When a guest books a property, they must pay the entire amount upfront, including both the rental and transaction fees. Airbnb then pays its host (minus commission) after the guest has arrived.


Last year its quarterly revenues reached $1 billion twice. It also operates internal loyalty programs such as its Superhost programme, which rewards its best-rated and most experienced hosts. This helps them attract more guests and earn more money.




While providing homeowners an opportunity for additional income, it brings tourism revenue to far-flung places. This has resulted in an economic impact nothing short of sensational.


In 2018, Airbnb tourists and hosts in the top 30 countries visited, generated €86 billion (over $100 billion USD). It is worth around $700 million a year to Ireland, and $33.8 billion to the US economy annually, while France and Spain come second and third in terms of revenue after the US. 


Its benefit to local tourism is phenomenal and by getting it back up and running, it stands to boost some of the worst hit sectors of the pandemic, including restaurants, holiday properties and tourism in general.




The pending IPO is tipped to be led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Spreadbetting firm IG gives speculators an opportunity to predict an IPO price before it goes live and is currently quoting a grey market value of around $43 billion. The fact that Airbnb already generates cash is positive and its recent influx of bookings also work in its favour. 


As Airbnb has transitioned into a household name and its IPO has become highly anticipated. It will give Airbnb the opportunity to raise money to fund future growth, whilst simultaneously giving its existing investors and employees a chance to sell their shares. An IPO usually gives a company added credibility, but to reduce investor risk it is important that stability and certainty are present in the economic outlook. Unfortunately, the world is lacking both just now, making the prospect of an Airbnb IPO such an intriguing event.

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