On Thursday, December 10, 2020, Airbnb’s stock opened at $146 per share, which was considerably more than what the company initially set for its IPO. IPO stands for initial public offering or stock market launch. It is when a company offers its shares and securities for the first time for public ownership and trading. Therefore, doing so makes the company publicly owned.
Overall, Airbnb raised about $3.5 billion during its IPO. This opening is significant as it is the largest IPO in this year that generally saw volatility in the markets. Initially, the company priced its initial public offering at $68 per share, which was an eager expectation in and of itself. This figure had already been increased from $50 considering the company’s 51.6 million shares, along with DoorDash’s strong showing as well.
Though, these notable figures paled in comparison to Airbnb’s stats earlier in the year when the travel industry almost closed its doors amidst coronavirus restrictions. The company’s lowest point was in April when reservations dropped more than 72%. Additionally, the previous month saw them lay off a quarter of its workforce. Furthermore, Airbnb has never recorded an annual profit as its losses increased to $674 million in the last year. This, unfortunately, has been the trend for most tech IPOs as seen by both Lyft and Uber’s performances, along with WeWork’s inability even to launch publicly. Opposingly, DoorDash was the only company that demonstrated a change when its stocks traded at 182, which was up from its initial IPO of 102.
Despite these depressing stats, Airbnb has fared better than others in the travel industry this year, namely due to the flexible nature of its service. This flexibility manifested itself in deep-cleaning protocols, longer-term stays, and increased rental opportunities closer to customer homes. All this will help maintain Airbnb as an attractive service, especially when travel will most likely be one of the critical activities that will pick up again in post-pandemic life.