AirBnB IPO smashes all records of 2020

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Shares of Airbnb Inc more than doubled in the company’s stock market debut on 10-Dec-2020, valuing the home rental firm at just over $100bn in the biggest United States initial public offering of 2020 and capping a bumper year in which investors flocked to tech stocks.

Airbnb opened at $146 on the Nasdaq, far above the initial public offering (IPO) price of $68 per share that raised $3.5bn for the company. The stock hit a high of $165 and closed at $144.71.

The IPO is the culmination of a stunning recovery in Airbnb’s fortunes after the firm’s business was heavily damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.

But as lockdowns eased, more travellers opted to book homes instead of hotels, helping Airbnb post a surprise profit for the third quarter. The San Francisco-based firm also gained from increased interest in renting homes away from major cities.

Founded in 2008 as a website to take bookings for rooms during conferences, Airbnb had a listing that was one of the most anticipated US IPOs of 2020, which has already been a record year for stock market listings.

At the start of trading on the Nasdaq, Airbnb had a market capitalization of $86.5bn, eclipsing that of online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc and hotel chain Marriott International Inc.

Including securities such as options and restricted stock units, Airbnb’s fully diluted valuation came to $100.7bn, more than five times the $18bn Airbnb was valued at in a private fundraising round in April at the outset of the pandemic.

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