Airbnb, despite having plenty of cash, has been open to listening to investors as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds worldwide and hits industries like travel and hospitality hard, according to published reports Thursday (March 19).
The temporary home rental program has seen “significant” interest from investors in recent weeks and believes raising money could be a good opportunity at this time.
Some sources told CNBC the company has had discussions to raise, although amounts haven’t been decided upon as of March 19.
Airbnb has around $3 billion in cash and $1 billion in credit. It has raised a total of $4.4 billion so far, and venture capitalists, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds have been among those expressing their interests in the company.
Airbnb planned to go public this year, though the rapidly developing coronavirus pandemic has thrown that into doubt. Employees wanted to see the company go public — their stocks are set to expire at the end of this year. And the company may choose to go the way of a direct listing, which would mean it doesn’t have to sell new shares to public market investors.
Markets are plunging amid the ripple effects of the coronavirus, which has forced business closures and sparked fears in customers to stop going out so much, let alone travel. One source per reports said, despite all of that, several high-value private companies have received deals from investors.
Ron Conway, an early investor with Airbnb, told reporters he’d been referring calls from investors to Airbnb.
Conway told CNBC that he saw interest from investors who’d been at the forefront of the dotcom crash in 2000, and they were predicting that Airbnb and companies like it would be positioned for success once the current downturn eases.