Airbnb rings the bell to herald its arrival on public markets

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Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky addresses viewers during a virtual Nasdaq bell-ringing event Thursday.
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky addresses viewers during a virtual Nasdaq bell-ringing event Thursday.

Airbnb makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today.

The private accommodation giant's shares will list on the NASDAQ trading floor, just short of four months after announcing its intention to seek an Initial Public Offering of the business.

The traditional "bell-ringing" ceremony will be virtual and carried out by Airbnb's co-founders, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk.

To mark the occasion, Airbnb is launching a brief marketing campaign on U.S. television networks over the course of the next two days, featuring a host from each time zone ringing their doorbells.

The Barclays Times Square billboard will be used to "thank healthcare workers for their heroism," after the company launched a campaign earlier this year to provide them with housing during the pandemic.

Airbnb IPO ad campaign

On the eve of its debut on the public markets, documents filed during its investor roadshow indicated that the company felt it was ready to move alongside the likes of Expedia Group and Booking Holdings.

In 2019, Airbnb took in $4.8 billion in revenues across the year, up from $3.7 billion in 2018 and $2.6 billion in 2017.

For comparison, Booking Holdings (owner of Booking.com et al) captured $15.1 billion in 2019 and Expedia Group (Vrbo, Expedia et al) attracted some $12 billion over the same 12-month period.

The filing also indicated how strong the company's playbook in the area of marketing has been since its launch 12 years ago, primarily due to its ability to attract direct bookings and not rely primarily on Google search traffic.

While the home-sharing and second (or third) home-renting area of the business has captured most of the attention, other areas of the company have faced varying degrees of success.

Earlier this week, tours and activities specialist Arival unveiled research to show the performance of the Airbnb Experiences division.

The research found that less than one in three of the experiences listings accounted for 96% of all reviews.

Although it does not indicate directly the levels of usage, nearly one in three listings had no reviews at all, Arival found.

Source: PhocusWire

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