Airbnb said earlier this week that it had confidentially filed to go public, taking a key step toward one of the largest public market debuts in a generation of “sharing economy” start-ups, according to the NYTimes. The company had been privately valued at $31 billion before this year, and the company must now convince investors that it can thrive and turn a profit in a new era of limited travel.
- Why it matters: Airbnb’s offering would signal the end of an era for the first wave of highly valued start-up “unicorns,” many of which were founded in the recession of 2008 and then rode a wave of growth fueled by smartphones, gig work and copious amounts of venture capital. In recent years, many of Airbnb’s well-known “sharing economy” peers have gone public (Uber and Lyft), sold themselves (Postmates), or unraveled spectacularly (WeWork). [NYTimes]