Airbnb loss balloons to $478 million ahead of IPO plans

airbnb ipo losses

Airbnb reported a loss of US$322 million ($478 million) over nine months of 2019, ahead of its slated plans to undertake an initial public offering this year.

In the same period in 2018, the home-sharing company made US$200 million ($297 million) in profit. Although it did report a profit for the third quarter of 2019 — historically its most profitable quarter — it still came up lower than the same period in 2018.

The losses are expected to drag down Airbnb’s valuation, which will likely affect its schedule to “become a publicly-traded company during 2020”, as announced in a statement released last year.

The report follows a string of reported issues with Airbnb, ranging from safety and user verification concerns, an expose by Vice about the prevalence of scams operating from the platform, and several costly operational decisions.

Following the Vice report, Airbnb announced it would verify its seven million listings, among other safety measures — a process that would cost the business US$150 million.

The hospitality platform has also recently made a string of high-profile acquisitions in the US, including HotelTonight and UrbanDoor. Airbnb is also reportedly spending US$100 million a year on upgrading its tech.

Marketing spending is also allegedly running high, with the Information last year reporting the business increased spending by 58% from the previous year in an effort to boost its brand ahead of an IPO.

Airbnb was valued at US$31 million in its last funding round in 2017.

If it goes ahead with its plans to IPO, Airbnb will follow the likes of Lyft and Uber in going public while still making significant losses.

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