Airbnb sets stage for blockbuster IPO with choice of Nasdaq listing

Airbnb did not give a timeline for when it may complete its IPO. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Home-rental startup Airbnb plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq, setting the stage for one of 2020's most high-profile stock market debuts.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported the company was aiming to raise US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion) in its initial public offering ( IPO), which could give it a valuation of more than US$30 billion, and that it was targeting a listing before the end of the year.

The push to go public and the growth in its potential valuation underscores Airbnb's dramatic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, when it secured emergency funding from investors and the outlook for the travel industry was uncertain.

San Francisco-based Airbnb, which has benefited as travelers shy away from larger hotels and instead prefer to drive to local vacation rentals, said in July that customers had booked more than 1 million nights in a single day for the first time since March 3.

Airbnb did not give a timeline for when it may complete its IPO. The company had filed confidentially for an IPO with US regulators in August.

Reuters reported earlier this year that billionaire investor William Ackman had approached Airbnb about going public through a reverse merger with his blank-check company but that Airbnb was prioritizing going public through a traditional IPO.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group are acting as the lead underwriters for the IPO, Reuters reported last month, citing people familiar with the matter.

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