During the coronavirus crisis, certain industries, like hospitality and airline travel, have been hit especially hard. Airbnb, the company that lets people rent rooms out of their homes, is no exception, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The company is taking hits in all of its major markets. Last week, bookings were down year on year by half in the U.S., 75 percent in Europe and 95 percent in Asia. The numbers this week are even worse.
Airbnb planned to go public this year via a direct listing, but the pandemic has wrenched those plans, and now the company is trying to figure out the best way to move forward.
Losses for the company are in the hundreds of millions this year. A spokesperson said Airbnb has “$4 billion in liquidity” and that it’s “focused with our board on ways we can help our community weather this crisis.”
The company had a valuation of $31 billion during its last funding round in 2017, but it’s unlikely to be able to get investors to put in money at that valuation with the company’s current status.
Currently, Airbnb is trying to figure out how low it will go when seeking funding. Some board members are unhappy that the company didn’t go public last year, when the stock market was in great shape and even losing startups were getting premium prices.
The firm is also considering an IPO, but that wouldn’t happen until the virus crisis is over and the markets have stabilized.
It “should come as no surprise that in these extraordinary times, like virtually every company in the world, we are regularly consulting with our board to discuss our work,” the spokesperson said.
After more than 10 years as a private company, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is increasingly under pressure to go public, and he recently told his employees that he still wants to do so this year.