Airbnb to Go Public Next Year

Airbnb Inc. expects to go public next year, the company said Thursday, the latest multibillion-dollar startup seeking to widen its investor base. The home-sharing giant offered no other details about its plans to become publicly traded. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Airbnb was planning to go public in the first half of next year, citing people familiar with the situation.

The company has also weighed pursuing a direct listing, according to people familiar with the matter, similar to

Slack Technologies Inc.

and Spotify Technology SA, where a company places its stock on a public exchange without raising any money or using underwriters. Airbnb is among the most valuable closely held companies in the world, with a valuation of $31 billion as of March 2017, according to Dow Jones VentureSource data. However, highly anticipated startups

Uber Technologies Inc.


Lyft Inc.

foundered in their market debuts earlier this year. Meanwhile, WeWork parent, the We Co., delayed IPO plans earlier this week.

From Uber to Lyft to Airbnb, it’s the year of the tech initial public offering. Jonathan DeYoe, a Bay Area financial adviser to some of the new IPO millionaires, explains how many of his clients acquired so much stock and what he suggests they do with their new riches. Illustration: Timothy Wong for The Wall Street Journal.

Airbnb, based in San Francisco, lets people list their properties or homes for rent on its marketplace. The company was founded a little more than a decade ago and now has listings in over 100,000 cities. It has worked to expand its operations in recent years, launching a service for customers to book experiences and tours in various cities as well as acquiring firms such as furnished-apartment marketplace Urbandoor. The company also recently led a $20 million funding round in travel site Atlas Obscura, a deal that would allow Airbnb to collect a portion of the proceeds from customers who book Atlas Obscura trips on Airbnb’s app or website. The announcement Thursday came one day after Airbnb said revenue topped $1 billion in the second quarter of this year, which is the second time it has done so. Airbnb’s revenue last year rose 40% from the year prior, The Wall Street Journal previously reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Write to Allison Prang at

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