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Airbnb to go public in 2020

In a single-sentence press release, the company declared its intention to hold an IPO next year

Airbnb app
The company's most recent valuation estimates its worth at $38 billion, according to reports

Airbnb Inc, the company that lets users rent out their own rooms to travelers, plans to go public in 2020.

The company has hinted at an IPO since 2015, and on Thursday put out a single-sentence press release making its intentions known.

The group, founded by a pair of roommates in 2008, has grown massively since its launch. The most recent public valuation estimates its worth at $38 billion, according to a report from Vox Media's Recode, and on Wednesday, Reuters reported that Airbnb claimed its second-quarter revenue topped $1 billion.

A pattern of growth

As it has gotten closer to going public, Airbnb has not been bashful in growing by acquisition.

The company has made 21 acquisitions since its launch in 2007 and 2019 has moved to branch out beyond traditional overnight stays.

READ: WeWork owner pushes back IPO amid investors concerns over governance

In January, the company bought Denmark startup Gaest, which lets people book workspace for hours or days at a time, and in August, it purchased Urbandoor, a platform that offers longer stays to corporate clients. 

The goal there, according to a report from TechCrunch, is to bolster its Airbnb for Work offerings while also potentially targeting an end-around against regulation regarding what counts as a hotel.

The company also moved to acquire last-minute booking site HotelTonight

If Airbnb does go public at roughly $38 billion, it would beat out competitors such as Expedia Group Inc's (NASDAQ:EXPE) $28 billion valuation and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc's (NYSE:HLT) $25 billion but come up short of Mariott International Inc's (NASDAQ:MAR) $43 billion and Booking Holdings Inc's (NASDAQ:BKNG) $80 billion, according to the Recode report.

What will 2020 bring?

The 2020 move would follow a year filled with high-powered tech IPOs that didn’t always go according to plan.

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER), despite being the biggest tech IPO ever and achieving a valuation of $82.4 billion, is trading below its IPO price, as is rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), which has seen its share price severely wounded since its debut in March.

Earlier this week, WeWork owner The We Company opted to delay going public after its valuation cratered in recent months. 

Bright spots among the unicorn tech IPOs include Pinterest Inc (NYSE:PINS) and Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM), the latter of which is trading at more than double its IPO price.

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

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