Airbnb has opened its books for the first time with the company’s long-awaited SEC filing detailing the heavy impact COVID-19 has taken on bookings and revenue while defiantly declaring its performance during the ongoing pandemic has shown it to be a resilient business primed to rebound.
The online accommodation juggernaut revealed that Gross Booking Value fell 39% year on year to USD18 billion in the nine months to September 30, while revenue slumped 32%, culminating in a net loss of $696.9 million for the period.
On the bright side, it’s taken a global pandemic for Airbnb to move the needle on its stubbornly static rates, which had seen no increase for at least five months before the COVID wrought havoc in March.
However since May, they’ve been up by around 20% year on year, peaking at USD145 in July, perhaps indicating that guests are preferring premium product over cheaper, less well maintained or shared accommodation.
Airbnb said in the SEC filing, which precedes an IPO, its business model is resilient and sustainable even though
“we do not believe it is possible to predict COVID-19’s cumulative and ultimate impact on our future business, results of operations, and financial condition.
“Just as when Airbnb started during the Great Recession of 2008, we believe that people will continue to turn to hosting to earn extra income.
“COVID-19 has materially adversely affected our recent operating and financial results and is continuing to materially adversely impact our long-term operating and financial results.
“However, we believe that as the world recovers from this pandemic, Airbnb will be a vital source of economic empowerment for millions of people.”
Airbnb said it had more than 4 million hosts with 7.4 million available listings of homes and experiences as of September 30, 2020, “of which 5.6 million were active listings.
“We consider a listing of a home or an experience to be an ‘active listing’ if it is viewable on Airbnb and has been previously booked at least once on Airbnb.
“Our hosts largely come to us organically with 79% of our hosts coming directly to our platform to sign up to host in 2019.
“In 2019, we added more hosts than any year in our history (while) 54 million active bookers worldwide booked 327 million nights and experiences on our platform.
“Since our founding, there have been over 825 million guest arrivals on Airbnb.
“Most of our guests discover Airbnb organically, with approximately 91% of all traffic to Airbnb coming through direct or unpaid channels.”
No date has yet been set for the Airbnb listing on NASDAQ, where it proposes to have the ticker ‘ABNB’.