Airbnb’s entry to the public market is expected Thursday, now at a range of $56 to $60 per share according to a securities filing Monday, giving it a $42 billion valuation.
The timing of the IPO is an indication of the strength of the platform – and the overall short-term rental sector – as one of the relative bright spots in an otherwise dismal year for the travel industry. According to a report from STR and AirDNA, average daily rates for short-term rentals were reported as higher in July 2020 than in July 2019 in the United States, Spain, Italy, France and China.
Airbnb's S1 filing states that from July through September, the platform captured gross booking value of $8 billion, just 17% below the same period in 2019 and above the 2018 amount of $7.5 billion.
But the resilience of short-term rentals during the pandemic is, at this point, old news. The question that remains is how the sector will fare in the future. One thing is clear: Industry leaders expect the spike in demand to continue and are now putting a focus on growing the supply of rental properties.
Meanwhile Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern, in the company’s call with analysts to discuss Q3 financial results, said: “There was a really acute demand spike there [on Vrbo]. We do think there's more opportunity to serve them more opportunity, and I think we will continue to try to grow our inventory.”
And Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said in his company’s Q3 call: “People having experienced this [alternative accommodations], now it goes into the consideration set for any type of use, standard holiday or not. And that's why I do believe, in the long run, to continue to build our inventory for the single property type use is very important.”
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