Airbnb ready for IPO in 2019, CEO says

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the home-sharing service will be ready to go public as soon as 2019 after years of rapid growth and regulatory battles.

Speaking at tech outlet Recode’s annual Code Conference in California, Chesky said Airbnb will “be ready to IPO next year, but I don’t know if we will.” The Airbnb CEO added that he wanted to make sure an IPO is in the company’s best long-term interests, TechCrunch reported.

Chesky said he has consulted with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about a potential IPO.

“Mark is a big proponent, and I have no issues with it,” Chesky said.

Airbnb closed a private funding round in March 2017 that valued the company at $31 billion. The company has achieved profitability, with $93 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The company launched a premium service called “Airbnb Plus” in February, with top-rated lodging at higher prices in 13 cities around the world. Airbnb lobbied the federal government in April to make use of its service, arguing it could save taxpayers billions of dollars over the next 10 years compared with the cost of hotel stays.

While revenue is on the rise, the hospitality service has experienced regulatory challenges in several major cities, including New York, where Airbnb is banned from listing short-term rentals. Critics argue that Airbnb contributes to rising rent costs and a lack of affordable housing in major cities.

Chesky acknowledged at the Code Conference that regulatory challenges in New York and San Francisco were especially difficult.