Airbnb releases its prospectus to debut on public markets under the symbol “ABNB” on the Nasdaq. In its prospectus, the company emphasises on building a community around its hosts and guests, positioning that community as a differentiating factor from its competitors. The company said it would set up 9.2 million shares of non-voting stock aside in an endowment fund for hosts.
The company lists Booking Holdings, Expedia Group, Google, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Craigslist and hotel chains Marriott, Hilton among others as its competitors. It will have three classes of stock; Class A stock holders will get one vote per share, Class B holders, which include the founders and early investors, will get 20 votes per share and Class H holds no votes and is primarily for long-time hosts.
The American vacation rental online marketplace made USD219 million in net income on revenues of USD1.34 billion in Q4, down nearly 19% from USD1.65 billion in revenue a year prior.
In 2019, the company reported a net loss of USD674 million on revenues of USD4.81 billion. So far in 2020, the company has turned a net loss of nearly USD697 million on revenues of USD2.52 billion due to the likely impact of the coronavirus which has put the brakes on leisure and business travel.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of actions to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic have materially adversely impacted and will continue to materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition,” Airbnb listed as its first risk factor.
2020 has been a tough year for the vacation rental online marketplace. As the pandemic decimated travel around the world, the company raised USD2 billion in new debt funding at a valuation of USD18 billion and announced major cost-cutting initiatives, including plans to lay off nearly 1,900 employees. The company also slashed marketing costs and raised billions of dollars in debt.
Airbnb said its number of listings has declined and may continue to decline in part due to the pandemic. In particular, some people rely on Airbnb to help pay living expenses or mortgages, and those people may get knocked off the platform.
The company also endured numerous issues with its hosts since enforcing an extenuating circumstances policy in March that overrode hosts’ cancellation policies and claimed to offer full refunds to guests impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, the company was hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit by one of its hosts, alleging that the tech company violated its contract with hosts when it enforced the extenuating circumstances policy.