Airbnb burned through $1.2 billion ahead of IPO


(Reuters) – Airbnb burned through more than $1.2 billion in cash between mid-2019 and mid-2020, ahead of its high-profile initial public offering (IPO), the Information reported on Wednesday, citing financial documents.

The cash burn depleted more than a third of the company’s cash reserves as of March 2019, after the COVID-19 pandemic-led plunge in global travel hurt Airbnb’s balance sheet that had already been weakened by huge spending on hiring and marketing, according to the report.

The biggest portion of the cash burn was in the first quarter of this year, when the company had to pay out travel refunds due to the pandemic, the report added.

Earlier this year, Airbnb raised $2 billion in debt from investors such as Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.

Reuters reported last week that Airbnb is aiming to raise around $3 billion in its upcoming IPO, citing people familiar with the matter, as it takes advantage of the unexpectedly sharp recovery in its business.

According to the Information report, Airbnb is expected to use that money in part to pay off the debt.

With millions of tourists canceling plans for vacations, work trips and family visits, Airbnb had earlier said it was allocating $250 million to help offset losses incurred by hosts.

In late March, it suspended its marketing activities to save $800 million in 2020 and informed workers that its founders would take no salary for the next six months, while top executives would take a 50% cut.

Airbnb declined to comment.


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