Nothing would better epitomize the stock market’s strange surge in 2020 than a blockbuster initial public offering from a travel company whose business was bludgeoned by the pandemic. But that is exactly what looks likely for Airbnb.
The Silicon Valley darling is a good bet to secure at least a $30 billion valuation when it goes public later this year, equivalent to six times the $5 billion in revenue the company might have in 2022. The valuation looks achievable, say analysts and investors, because Airbnb deserves a slightly higher multiple of future revenue than its publicly traded rival Booking Holdings. Booking, which itself has seen a strong stock price recovery despite coming off its worst quarter ever, trades at about five times expected future revenue, with a market capitalization of $75 billion.