Airbnb books its IPO

Airbnb, which has disrupted the hospitality industry, in the way Lyft and Uber impacted transportation, is ready to join its sharing economy upstarts on the public markets.

Early Thursday, the San Francisco-based company said it will be going public sometime early next year. The move comes less than a day that Airbnb announced it took in more than $1 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2019, the second time it exceeded that level in its 10-year history.

With a potential IPO lurking in the background, the company also said it will be launching a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign with ads running on TV and digital platforms. The new campaign will show the benefits of "hosting" -- or offering your abode -- on the service and will also present some of its "hosts" who have worked with the service.

Of course, there is another alternative to an IPO, if a company wants to go public and that is via a direct listing, as Reuters notes. In direct listing the company doesn’t issue any new shares of stock. Instead, existing shares that are held by the private investors and employees are sold to the public. Also, no money is raised by the business executing a direct listing and there are no banks or underwriters involved that would extract fees in the IPO process.

Airbnb, started in 2008, was conceived when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia -- roommates trying to think of a way to urgently make some extra cash, who realized that all the hotels in their city of were filling up as a result of a conference that was being held -- "advertised the availability of an air mattress and breakfast in their living room [and] found a few takers," via The Motley Fool.

According to the company, there are seven million Airbnb housing listings worldwide, as well as 100,000 cities and 191 countries/regions with Airbnb listings.  Beyond that, there have been 500 million Airbnb guests since the company's inception.  The company is currently valued at $38 billion dollars, according to Forbes.