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.