Airbnb’s losing spree continues with $1B loss in Q1

But revenue picked up as travel returns

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. (Airbnb, Getty)
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. (Airbnb, Getty)

With travel finally picking up 14 months into a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the industry, Airbnb may finally have the chance to show investors what it’s made of.

But for now, the hospitality startup is still dealing with the fallout from the pandemic. Airbnb reported a $1 billion net loss during the first quarter, according to a shareholder’s letter released Thursday. The company — which went public last December — reported a $4.6 billion net loss for all of 2020.

That $1 billion includes $377 million that was used to pay off debt, a mark-to-market adjustment totaling $292 million, and $113 million related to the lease of its San Francisco campus. In February, the San Francisco Business Times reported the company listed nearly a fourth of that 600,000-square-foot property for sublease.

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But during a Thursday earnings call, CEO Brian Chesky sounded hopeful that hybrid work models, as well as pent-up desire for travel, will result in greater earnings for the company.

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“This is the travel rebound of the century,” Chesky said.

The company saw revenue grow to $887 million, a 5 percent year-over-year increase and a 6 percent increase from the first quarter of 2019. The company chalked the revenue bump up to fewer cancellations and higher average daily rates for bookings.

Between January and March, 64.4 million nights were booked using the platform, a 13 percent increase from the same time last year and 21 percent over the same period in 2019. Those bookings brought in $10.3 billion, a 52 percent jump from last year, but only a 3 percent increase from 2019’s numbers.

Users also booked longer stays, as remote work provided employees with the opportunity to work from anywhere. Nearly a quarter of all bookings were for 28 days or longer.