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Airbnb Reviving Talk of Going Public as Restrictions Ease

Home-sharing platform Airbnb has reportedly revived the internal conversation about an initial public offering.

Airbnb, which recently cut 1,900 workers due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, has reportedly revived talk about going public in this year.

Axios reported that the home-sharing platform had revived the internal conversation about an initial public offering. 

A company spokesman declined to comment and cited a Bloomberg story in which  Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said going public is still an option.

“We’re not ruling out going public this year and we’re not committing to it,” he told Bloomberg.

Chesky had originally planned to file paperwork for an offering March 31, but that plan was derailed by the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg reported. 

He said the company had more U.S. bookings between May 17 and June 3, including the Memorial Day weekend, than it did for the same period in 2019. He also said there was an increase in longer stays.

Last month, Airbnb said it would let go of a quarter of its workforce, or 1,900 employees, as the coronavirus pandemic decimated demand for the company's services.

Chesky told employees in a memo that the revenue forecast for the year is less than half last year’s level. He noted that global travel had come to a halt as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The CEO said the company had raised $2 billion in capital and slashed costs across the company, but still needed to make layoffs amounting to about a quarter of its 7,500 employees.

The IPO market appears to be making a comeback. On Friday, Bloomberg reported companies going public last week raised more than $7.3 billion in initial public offerings, marking the biggest week for IPOs globally this year.

Among other companies, ZoomInfo’s  (ZI) - Get Free Report initial public offering took off more than 70%. ZoomInfo is the first U.S. tech IPO since Chinese cloud-service provider Kingsoft Cloud Holdings’ IPO in April.