Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the company's IPO⁠— 'When the market's ready for Airbnb, it will go public'

File photo of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky from his visit to IndiaBCCL
  • In August 2020, Airbnb had confidentially filed the S1 document for an IPO, which marks the initial registration for a company planning to go public.
  • The 12-year old startup’s valuation has dropped from $31 billion to $18 billion as the COVID-19 crisis battered the global travel and tourism industry.
  • Chesky said the company is getting back on track with the markets recovering, and people opting for ‘longer stays’.
For Airbnb, the US-based vacation rental startup, it's been a year of ups and downs. It started with talks of being the next tech company to file an IPO. Now, the travel and tourism industry is battered due to the coronavirus pandemic and its valuation has dropped from $31 billion to $18 billion. In August 2020, Airbnb had confidentially filed for an IPO.

Speaking during the Economic Times Global Business Summit, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, said that while he’s not allowed to talk about the IPO, he said they will go ahead when the market’s ready.

“Before the pandemic hit, we were working on the S1 (filing), we were intending to file it. Then obviously COVID-19 happened and the business dropped precipitously and we put the S1 on the shelf. And we dusted it off and filed it and I’ve said it, when the market’s ready for Airbnb, Airbnb will go public,” said Chesky.

Airbnb was one of the worst-hit companies during the pandemic. According to reports, the company’s revenues nosedived in March, and it lost over $1 billion in bookings.

However, the company is getting back on track with the markets recovering, and people opting for ‘longer stays’, booking homes through Airbnb has been the more viable option, Chesky said.

BI India/Flourish

Airbnb in India


As of 2019, Airbnb had over 55,000 listings in India. In 2019, Airbnb had invested an undisclosed amount on its Indian rival OYO, although reports had pegged the investment to be anywhere between $100-$200 million. “I think to invest in the Indian market is to be making a long-term investment in what is and will be one of the largest economies in the world," he added.

Talking about the Indian market, Chesky said that it is an important hub for Airbnb. The company had also recently promoted its India head Amanpreet Bajaj to also lead Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets.

“Through our office in India and our subsidiary, we have a large number of people that work in India. They not only focus on the India region but also global operations, including custom community support,” he said.

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