With a potential initial public offering (IPO) on the horizon, Airbnb reportedly registered a loss in the first nine months of 2019 amid an increase in costs. The loss is said to raise questions about the timing and valuation of the tech company’s introduction to the public markets, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The home-sharing company reportedly took in a net loss of $322 million in the months through September, which was reportedly lower than a $200 million profit the year before.
The company’s digital platform enables users to list their properties for rent. According to information from Dow Jones VentureSource, Airbnb was valued at $31 billion as of a 2017 funding round. However, its newest internal valuation is said to significantly lower. The dip could impact the price tag of the home-sharing platform in an IPO, according to investors cited in the report.
Airbnb’s profitability was forecasted to provide it with an advantage as it sought to attract investors, who have become more suspect of firms with losses and no defined trail to profits following the challenging introductions of Lyft and Uber.
In 2019, Airbnb reportedly said it would go public “during 2020.” However, one unnamed person cited in the report noted that the Coronavirus could impact the timing. The company’s business in China is reportedly down approximately 80 percent in comparison to last year, while listings are temporarily on hold in certain municipalities as the virus impacts travel to the country.
As the biggest home-sharing platform in the U.S., Airbnb has over two million people on average booked nightly into its listings around the world. In October, news surfaced that the company was mulling a direct listing in lieu of an IPO. Lyft and Uber opted for the more traditional IPO route and saw their values drop, per a report in October, but Slack and Spotify chose a direct listing option.