The Real Deal New York

Airbnb founders and early employees have cashed in $350M worth of equity: report

Company CFO recently resigned amid clash over IPO
February 07, 2018 08:00AM

Brian Chesky, Laurence Tosi and Belinda Johnson

From left: Brian Chesky, Laurence Tosi and Belinda Johnson (Credit: AirBnB)

Airbnb is in no rush to go public. In fact, the techies who created the home-sharing behemoth have little financial incentive to push for an IPO.

The Airbnb founders and early employees have cashed out about $350 million worth of equity in the company, which was last valued at $31 billion, Bloomberg reported.

In a surprising move, company co-founder Brian Chesky last week announced the resignation of finance chief Laurence Tosi, the former Blackstone Group CFO who had been one of the biggest cheerleaders for taking the company public.

“I know people will ask what these changes mean for a potential IPO. Let me address this directly. We are not going public in 2018,” Chesky said in a statement announcing the promotion of Belinda Johnson, Tosi’s chief rival for the COO position. “We will make decisions about going public on our own timetable.”

Chesky is looking to hire a president for the company, which is struggling to maintain its Silicon Valley ethos while Wall Street clamors for a piece of the pie.

The company beat its financial projects for 2017 with $93 million in profit on $2.6 billion in revenues, sources told Bloomberg.

Airbnb has struggled with regulations limiting home-sharing in New York City and other key markets. But earlier this year, a Republican state senator in New York proposed a bill that would legalize and regulate short-term rental platforms. [Bloomberg]Rich Bockmann