Airbnb Raises $ 1 Billion To Store Pandemic Liquidity

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On March 30, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, held a video call with company hosts and said the past few weeks have been a “wake-up call.” He announced a $ 250 million fund to compensate hosts for part of their reservation cancellations, as well as a $ 10 million grant pool for his “Superhosts”, paid for by founders and employees of Airbnb.

“I am sorry we did not consult you as partners,” said Mr. Chesky during the call.

In its funding announcement, Airbnb said it would now focus on trips closer to home and longer stays, including students and those on extended assignments.

“The desire to connect and travel is a lasting human truth that was only reinforced during our separation,” Chesky said in a statement on Monday. He added that, practically, the way we connect and travel “will evolve as the world changes”.

Last month, Airbnb began submitting new unsolicited financing offers to venture capitalists, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, said someone familiar with the situation at the time. Offers ranged from $ 100 million to $ 1 billion, the person said.

Private equity firms like Silver Lake have large cash reserves. Many of the companies said they saw investment opportunities while American companies struggled.

In a statement, Egon Durban, co-chief executive officer of Silver Lake, said that Airbnb is poised to prosper when the world recovers from the virus.

“While the current environment is clearly difficult for the hospitality industry, the desire to travel and have authentic experiences is fundamental and sustainable,” he said.

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