Faced with a plummeting of its business, outrage from many hosts, and an ever-approaching deadline to go public in 2020, Airbnb announced it secured a $1 billion investment in debt and equity securities from Silver Lake Partners and Sixth Street Partners.
The investment brings Airbnb’s total funding to around $5.4 billion. In a recent meeting with employees before Monday’s investment announcement, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky informed them that the company had lowered its valuation to $26 billion from the previous $31 billion.
In its announcement, Airbnb didn’t disclose its new valuation, or how the funding infusion impacts its desire to go public in 2020, which was geared to let employees begin to cash out their soon-to-expire stock options.
Airbnb had previously announced, and reinforced in its $1 billion funding announcement, that it will focus on long-term stays to meet changing guest behavior during the coronavirus crisis.
A source close to Airbnb told Skift March 21 that the company was trying to raise additional funding to cope with the coronavirus crisis, and that some 20 potential investors were kicking the tires.
Part of Airbnb’s pitch is that when there is a global recovery from coronavirus travelers would be more likely to seek stays at short-term rentals in less congested areas where they can better control the environment and travel with people they know instead of mixing with hotel guests.