Hotel Brands

Airbnb valued at $100bn following first day of trading

Airbnb shares more than doubled following its first day of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange giving it a value of $100bn (£75.7bn).

The listing raised $3.5bn (£2.6bn) for the firm, marking it as the biggest of the year in the US. After a surge in interest from investors, shares closed at the end of its first day of trading up 112.8%, at $144.71 (£109.78).

Chief executive Brian Chesky told the BBC that Airbnb hopes to use the money raised to “safely navigate” the challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “We are still in a storm. We don’t know how long the storm is going to last so we hope for the best but we plan for the worst.

“We’re going to be very prudent and very thoughtful about our investment, especially in a world of a huge amount of uncertainty, which is clearly where we still are right now.”

Like many hospitality businesses, Airbnb has been affected by Covid-19, with the firm previously revealing plans to pay as much as £200m to hosts with homes listed on its platform to help cover the costs of Covid-19 related cancellations.

According to reports at the time, it came after an outcry from Airbnb hosts over a cancellation policy which allows guests to claim a full refund if they cancel their booking before 31 May.

The group was also forced to axe around 25% of its workforce in May, with 1,900 out of its 7,500 employees made redundant.

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