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Airbnb Files Confidentially for IPO With SEC

Airbnb Inc. said Wednesday it confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, marking a surprising turnaround for a company whose business was initially ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company was close to such a filing.

The San Francisco-based home-sharing giant said the number of shares and the price range for the proposed offering haven’t been determined. Airbnb is leaning toward listing its shares on Nasdaq, according to people familiar with the matter. There is no guarantee it will do so, and the company could still opt for the New York Stock Exchange instead.

Airbnb said late last year that it planned to go public, but its plans were thrown into disarray as the health crisis shut down global travel. It initially had planned to make its widely anticipated debut on the public markets this year via a direct listing, which wouldn’t involve raising any additional money, but now plans to raise cash through a traditional IPO.

Airbnb joins a rush of companies tapping public investors after the IPO market emerged from a virtual standstill triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Still, its offering will test the public markets, particularly amid increased wariness for money-losing startups. Chief Executive Brian Chesky is under pressure from employees to list this year because many valuable stock options are set to expire.