Airbnb Jumps Over 112% When Debuting on Wall Street

The Airbnb rental platform, which has shaken up the tourism industry, was a hit with an exuberant first listing on Wall Street on Thursday.

Its stock started at $ 146 on the Nasdaq exchange, up 115% from its IPO price. The stock traded at US $ 68 finally ended the session at US $ 144.71, up 112.81%.

At this level, Airbnb is worth $ 100 billion on the stock market.

The spread of the pandemic in the United States in the spring marked a halt for companies wishing to enter the markets.

But stock market life has since bounced back and investors are showing a voracious appetite for new arrivals.

Home grocery and food delivery boy DoorDash had already stormed Wall Street, soaring 86% in just hours.

Airbnb had originally planned to market its shares at a price range of $ 44 to $ 50 per unit, a range that was raised a few days later to $ 56-60, before climbing to $ 68.

The level of the stock, which trades under the ticker “ABNB”, continued to explode Thursday morning as brokers and bankers tried to gauge investor interest.

For the occasion, the Nasdaq displayed the platform’s logo and images of its activity on its building overlooking the legendary Times Square in New York.

Unable to come on site to ring the bell marking the opening of the meeting, Airbnb had prepared a video showing hosts of its site spread around the world activating the doorbell in their homes.

After the charges were paid, the company recovered $ 3.4 billion in new money from the transaction.

Rise of a giant
Founded 13 years ago in San Francisco, the company has revolutionized the business travel and tourism industry.

Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were looking in 2007 for a way to pay their rent and then created a site, called AirBedandBreakfast.com, to offer conference attendees to host them on air mattresses.

The two friends were joined in 2008 by computer scientist Nathan Blecharczyk and officially formed Airbnb.

As a serious financial crisis spreads around the world, the idea of ​​finding cheaper temporary accommodation, or making a little extra cash by renting a room, quickly wowed the public.

The rental platform has encountered resistance along the way, several municipalities and hoteliers worrying about seeing private housing turn de facto into hotels, depriving individuals of homes, promoting real estate speculation and creating a shortfall for the traditional hotel sector.

But the group now has four million hosts and over 825 million customers.

The group has been hit hard by sanitary measures imposed around the world this winter and last spring – its turnover for the first nine months of 2020 has plunged 32% year on year.

The company had to urgently raise $ 2 billion to deal with the crisis and lay off around 25% of its employees.

This allowed him to raise his head during the summer vacation: from July to September, the platform earned $ 219 million.

Airbnb in particular benefited from the appetite for long weekends and vacations nearby, as well as the desire of people to telecommute from a location other than their home.

By buying shares of the site, investors feel they are banking on the rise of a new giant in their industry, notes Gregori Volokhine, portfolio manager for Meeschaert Financial Services.

“People are currently afraid to go to hotels, public places, there is a real appetite for rentals in individual places,” he told AFP. “And the competition, like (the site) Expedia, is way behind. ”

Just the fact that Airbnb manages to generate quarterly profits can also be an asset on Wall Street, where many sharing economy companies, like Uber, have gone public without ever making a profit.

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