Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020

Investors pump billion dollars into Airbnb

Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners will invest $1 billion
in Airbnb to help the home-share giant mitigate the fallout from the Covid-19
coronavirus.

The funds — a combination of debt and equity securities — will
be used to invest in Airbnb’s community of hosts and enable the company to “be
in the strongest possible position as travel rebounds from the Covid-19
pandemic,” the company says.

According to co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as travel
recovers, he believes people will be interested in visiting locations close to
home and finding local experiences. To that end, he said the future of Airbnb
will focus on three core products: hosts, long-term stays and Airbnb Experiences.

Chesky said Airbnb will “invest in our hosts and bring more
of them into our community,” although the company declined to provide specifics
on how this will be accomplished.

Airbnb previously outlined its strategy for long-term stays,
which includes a new suite of tools for hosts.

As for Experiences, the company said the focus will be on
activities available year-round, not just during travel.

Silver Lake co-CEO and managing partner Egon Durban said, “While
the current environment is clearly a difficult one for the hospitality
industry, the desire to travel and have authentic experiences is fundamental
and enduring.

“Airbnb’s diverse, global and resilient business model is
particularly well suited to prosper as the world inevitably recovers and we all
get back out to experience it.”

Sixth Street Partners CEO and managing partner Alan Waxman
added, “Airbnb created an enormous new category, underpinned by the leading
brand and technology platform, as well as a community founded on trust.

“The company’s achievements speak for themselves, and we are
excited by the opportunities on the horizon as they continue to grow their
geographic footprint, accommodations and experiences.”

Airbnb will contribute $5 million of the $1 billion
investment to its Superhost Relief Fund, which will provide grants up to $15
million to top-rated and experienced hosts who need help paying their rents or
mortgages.
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Source: PhocusWire

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