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Airbnb CEO Sees Potential For 2020 IPO Amid Bookings Rebound

Airbnb’s big rebound from its short but sharp pandemic-induced slump has the CEO of one of the world’s most successful startups talking again about a potential IPO this year.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky mentioned the possibility that Airbnb might go ahead with its much-anticipated launch into the realm of publicly traded companies.

Still, the Airbnb chief also made clear that he’s not ready to firmly commit to taking the San Francisco-based company public this year, even after a sharp rise in bookings over the last few weeks as stir-crazy consumers have begun to venture out of their homes after months of coronavirus restrictions.

“We’re not ruling it out this year, but we’re definitely not committing to a timeline right now,” Chesky noted Monday (June 22) in the interview. “We’re still a little early in this crisis for me to feel clear enough about how this is going to play out.”

The cautious optimism by the executive comes after a massive slide in bookings since the coronavirus lockdown took hold in mid-March, followed by a surge in bookings over the past month as states have lifted restrictions on travel and lodging.

To help weather the storm, Airbnb slashed a quarter of its workforce and took on more than $2 billion in added debt to make up for the sudden loss in revenue.

But three months after the coronavirus crisis hit the U.S. in full force, things are finally looking better for Airbnb, with an overall increase in bookings between May 17 and June 6 compared to the same three-week period in 2019, the company recently reported.

Families are also making up a larger share of bookings than pre-COVID, Airbnb reported, with a 55 percent jump in reservations that include at least one child.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.