Airbnb to IPO by late 2020

Company is looking to address employees’ frustrations over slow pace of Wall Street offering

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and the Charging Bull (Credit: Sam Valadi via Flickr)
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and the Charging Bull (Credit: Sam Valadi via Flickr)

Airbnb, privately valued at $31 billion, is planning to debut on Wall Street by late 2020.

Company CEO Brian Chesky told employees Thursday that the home-sharing startup before some employee stock grants expire, the Information reported.

Employees are growing frustrated that the company has not yet gone public, and have complained that they have been unable to sell their shares on a regular basis.

Airbnb hasn’t allowed employees to sell their stock to new investors since 2016.

In response to the dissatisfaction, Chesky said that Airbnb will pay cash bonuses for the first time in years, and will accelerate the vesting schedule for some stock grants, a person close to the company told the Information.

Airbnb, founded in 2008, has been preparing an initial public offering for at least two years now. In March of 2017, Chesky said the company was planning on being ready to go public this year. But in February he said Airbnb that timeline will be pushed back at least until 2019, and at a conference last month, the CEO said the company will be “ready to IPO next year, but I don’t know if we will.”

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A source close to the company said Airbnb plans on being ready to go public by June 30, 2019.

The tech startup saw a leadership shakeup earlier this year with chief financial officer Laurence Tosi, a former Blackstone Group executive who was a proponent of the IPO, left the company amid tensions with Chesky.

Airbnb expects to be profitable for the second year in a row this year, with $3.5 billion to $4 billion in revenue.

The company continues to face opposition in New York. After state lawmakers in 2016 passed legislation imposing fines on those who advertise illegal short-term listings online, the City Council is poised to pass a law that would require Airbnb and other similar companies to hand over information on hosts’ names and addresses.

Elsewhere in the IPO world, Cushman & Wakefield last week filed the preliminary paperwork for its public debut. [The Information] – Rich Bockmann