Airbnb listing plans in motion

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Accommodation-booking site Airbnb plans to go public next year, joining technology giants such as Snap, Uber and Lyft to file an initial public offering (IPO) in recent years.

In a brief statement, Airbnb says “it expects to become a publicly-traded company during 2020”. However, the statement was short on details, such as whether paperwork for an IPO had been filed.

“This press release is being made pursuant to, and in accordance with, Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act.”

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the San Francisco-based company’s notice it has recorded more than $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2019.

Furthermore, as of 15 September, Airbnb says hosts have earned more than $80 billion by sharing their homes and spaces.

Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO and head of community, says: “Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. From homes and boutique hotels, to castles and tree houses, we offer millions of places to stay and access to local, authentic and unique experiences around the world.”

Over the years, the Airbnb community has grown from 1 000 in 2011 in 12 cities, to seven million Airbnb listings in over 100 000 cities around the world in 2019.

According to Airbnb, the host and guest community generated over $100 billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries in 2018 alone.

Last September, Airbnb revealed host and guest activity on its South African platform contributed an estimated R10 billion to SA's economy during the 2017 to 2018 financial year.

It further indicated Airbnb's tourism model supports 22 000 jobs across SA, with half being freelancers, part-time workers, or stay-at-home parents.

Since the launch of Airbnb SA in 2015, the community of home hosts has grown to over 35 000, with 65% being women. Furthermore, two million guests have arrived at listings on Airbnb in SA and 3.5 million guests have arrived at listings across Africa as a whole.

The Western Cape has proven to be the most successful region for Airbnb in the country.

A Genesis Analytics report released in August showed there has been a significant increase in host earnings on Airbnb in smaller towns across the country.

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