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Accommodation website Airbnb is set to be one of the largest stock market listings of the year, after the group filed a draft S-1 registration document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a statement, Airbnb said the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The date of the initial public offering (IPO) is not known, but is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process. A lot will no doubt depend on market conditions.

We noted earlier in the year that the run-up in stocks after the March trough was offering companies a window of opportunity to get their stock listings out the door.

How much is Airbnb worth?

The company raised $2 billion in two separate tranches in April of this year, whilst it cut staff numbers by 25% to help it survive the enormous impact of the pandemic. This valued the company at $18bn but this was about half what it notionally worth in 2017. In May, chief executive Brian Chesky said the company expects to deliver revenues in 2020 of about half the $4.8bn generated last year.

Part of this is down to the pandemic – it has been a terrible time for the travel sector in particular and about $330bn of revenues has been lost globally, according to the US Travel Association. But Airbnb has enjoyed a surge in bookings as lockdown restrictions ended, particularly in rural areas, where bookings rose 25%.

The fact that Airbnb has not decided to shelve its anticipated IPO this year is a sign of renewed confidence, or it’s a sign the company needs to raise capital fast.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb launched in 2008 and now has over 150 million users who offer private rentals of apartments and rooms in over 65,000 locations across the globe. It includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos amongst its early investors. By the end of 2019 analysts were expecting the Airbnb IPO to see the company achieve a valuation of $42 billion.

How to trade Airbnb

Markets.com will be offering a grey market on Airbnb ahead of the IPO, which will let you speculate on the share price before it debuts on the stock market. The grey market price is based on the market capitalisation of the company after its first day of trading. As ever once it has completed the listing you will be able trade the shares by CFD trading or Spread Betting, or invest via share dealing.

Another way to take advantage of the Airbnb IPO is to trade the Renaissance Capital ETF (IPO), which is an index-like basket of companies that went public in the last years.

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