Bloomberg reported yesterday that the room-rental platform Airbnb has indicated in a Delaware filing that it’s raising an additional $850 million in capital, at a valuation of $30 billion. That’s up significantly from a valuation of $25.5 billion at the time of its $1.5 billion raise in June of last year.
It’s also more than $10 billion more than the current market capitalization of Marriot International, now the world’s largest hotel chain. Another irresistible aspect of that comparison—while Marriot has over 5,500 hotels worldwide, Airbnb by one recent count didn’t even have that many employees.
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A preliminary version of the deal was first reported more than a month ago by the Wall Street Journal, when it was expected to be accompanied by a $200 million sale in employee stock.
The Journal also reported that the raise was intended to delay an IPO, which is now unlikely to happen before 2018. Airbnb projected 2015 revenue of $900 million, up from $250 million in 2013. The company lost $150 million last year, but projected profitability by 2020.
Airbnb’s desire to delay an IPO is part of a much broader trend—we’re in the middle of the biggest IPO drought since 2009. Market volatility is partly to blame, but as we reported in-depth recently, other motivations for staying private include freedom from the quarterly earnings grind and a generally low demand for capital.
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Airbnb’s intermediary-market model certainly fits the latter description, and even with an annual burn of $150 million, they’ve got enough cash on hand to choose when—or even if—they pull the IPO ripcord.