Airbnb more than doubles in market debut

Airbnb shares more than doubled in its public debut on Thursday, per the Wall Street Journal, after opening trading at $146 on the Nasdaq Stock Market – higher than its initial-public-offering price of $68 a share.

The opening trade valued Airbnb at $101.6 billion, versus its IPO valuation of roughly $47 billion. That makes Airbnb the biggest U.S. IPO in 2020.

The company had been widely expected to go public this year, either through an IPO or a direct listing, before the pandemic made that less likely.

Like many enterprises in the housing industry, short-term rental companies suffered a shock at the beginning of the pandemic. Airbnb hosts saw $1.5 billion in bookings cancelled in mid-March and while guests got full refunds, hosts still had to pay mortgages on the properties.

But demand from people locked down at home helped the company recover much of its bookings over the summer. While revenue was down 32% year-over-year in the first nine months of the year, Airbnb posted a profit in the third quarter.

At the beginning of October, the company had more than 7 million active listings of homes and experiences – such as guided activities – in more than 220 places globally.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb officials said in May it had raised $1 billion through a combination of debt and equity from investment firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.

For the slew of mortgage companies looking to go public in the near term, the wild IPO of DoorDash on Wednesday, where shares closed up more than 85%, and today’s very successful Airbnb IPO, could be cause for optimism.

Since Rocket Companies became the first of the IMBs to tap the public markets in August, several others have followed suit. Guild Mortgage debuted in October, though market volatility led Caliber Home Loans and AmeriHome Mortgage to delay their IPOs.

United Wholesale Mortgage is expected to make its debut via a blank check company in the fourth quarter, at a valuation of $16.1 billion.

LoanDepot also announced it was pursuing an IPO, and that was followed by Better.com.

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