Airbnb’s IPO Looks AOK. Company Looking to Raise $2.5 Billion In Middle Of Pandemic.

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event in San Francisco. Airbnb hopes to raise as much as $2.6 billion in its initial public stock offering this month, betting investors will see its home-sharing model as the future of travel. In a government filing Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, the San Francisco-based company said it expects to offer 51.9 million common shares priced between $44 and $50 per share. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Airbnb appears bulletproof as its valuation heading into an initial public offering is reaching its peak levels of 2017.

In a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the vacation home rental company plans to price shares at $44 to $50 in its IPO for a valuation of up to $35 billion, according to CNBC calculations on reports that first came from the Wall Street Journal. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb was at $18 billion for a private post-money valuation after raising $2 billion in debt.

Airbnb, or “ABNB” on the Nasdaq ticker, is aiming to raise $2.5 billion in this IPO with investors seeking to sell $96 million in stock. Its roadshow began making pitches Tuesday.

December does not normally feature public debuts but the Dow Jones reached 30,000 last week after clarity on the U.S. election inspired investors. This year, more than $140 billion has been raised through 383 IPOs to break a 21-year-old record, financial software company Dealogic reported.

Airbnb delayed going public as it took a pandemic blow but business rebounded with rural rentals in May after it cut 25% of its staff (about 1,900 employees). Airbnb booking went from a year-over-year drop of 72% in April to 21% in June, according to Yahoo. The upswing continued in the third quarter with the pandemic prompting people to take vacations closer to home, making domestic travel 80% of Airbnb’s business.

But eventually, people are going to want to go somewhere other than a stranger’s home in the next county.

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