Indian Hospitality Unicorn OYO's Backer Airbnb Joins the League of Start-ups Going Public
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Following the footsteps of Uber and Lyft, hotel sharing start-up Airbnb has announced that it will be going public in 2020. The California-based company was founded in 2008 by Brian Cheskey, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.
Airbnb--which is backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital, Youniversity Ventures, Y Combinator, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, among others--has invested in Indian start-up unicorn and its rival in the South Asian market OYO.
Another Unicorn Joins the Line of Start-ups Going Public
Airbnb has raised a total of $4.4 billion in private funding and going public seems the next logical step for it. The company was last valued at $31 billion in September 2017. The announcement comes at a time when WeWork has shelved its IPO plans after it failed to convince its investors. Moreover, companies such as Uber and Lyft, the former being considered a disruptor in the cab industry, failed to garner a positive response when it went public earlier this year. Incidentally, WeWork and Uber are backed by Japan’s star investor SoftBank, known for pumping big money into internet start-ups.
In India, Software as a service (SaaS) start-ups Druva, Freshworks and Mobikwik plan to go public. IndiaMart completed a successful round at the stock market in June this year.
The IPO Story
According to several media houses, going public has been on the cards for a very long time for Airbnb. The exact timing of the show is the only thing that is yet to be revealed. Co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk told Business Insider in March hinting about the IPO, “We have already said we are taking steps to be ready to go public in 2019. That doesn’t mean we will go public in 2019,”
The employees at Airbnb have been waiting for the company to go public. According to a report by The New York Times, when the firm crossed the $1-billion valuation mark, Airbnb prohibited its workers from selling shares, while allowing its three founders — Chesky, Blecharczyk and Gebbia — “to cash a total of $21 million”.
While founders trying to retain control of their companies is not a new trend, this piece of news will definitely become a source of joy for Airbnb workers.