Airbnb may follow Slack’s direct listing route

Home sharing startup has been prepping for an initial public offering

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Credit: iStock)
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Credit: iStock)

Following the buzz around Slack’s unconventional route to a Wall Street debut this week, Airbnb is considering a similar strategy.

The home-sharing platform is one of more than a dozen firms that are in talks with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — who, along with Allen & Co., dominate in the field of Silicon Valley direct listings — about the option, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

The news comes as Slack Technologies Inc. on Thursday debuted on the stock market through the direct-listing model, which is when a stock starts trading without raising more capital or issuing new shares of the company. Given the smoothness of Slack’s debut – and the underwhelming initial public offerings from Uber and Lyft – there could be at least five more such listings next year, Bloomberg reported.

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Airbnb has been in the midst of preparing for its own IPO. In April, the company invested in OYO, an Indian-based hotel manager.

Airbnb, led by CEO Brian Chesky, also recently partnered with RXR Realty to turn 10 floors of 75 Rockefeller Plaza into residential space.

Earlier this year, Airbnb turned over records on its hosts in response to a subpoena issued by the city. That information, in part, led to officials filing suit against 13 people and firms this week for allegedly turning housing units in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx into illegal hotels. [Bloomberg] — Mary Diduch