Technology

Airbnb wows Wall Street with spectacular US stock exchange debut

Airbnb has made an incredible start as a publicly-listed company, more than doubling its share price as soon as it began trading on the US stock exchange.

The short-term rental giant’s shares were priced at US$68 ($90.08) for its initial public offering, but that figure quickly changed as soon as the stock became available on the Nasdaq yesterday, closing at US$144.71 ($191.69).

Airbnb’s soaring stock exchange debut saw its valuation come in at more than US$100 billion ($132 billion), and this is all despite the company failing to turn an annual profit since being founded by CEO Brian Chesky, chief product officer Joe Gebbia and chief technology officer Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008.

To celebrate its Wall Street debut, Airbnb asked a number of its hosts to help ring the famous opening bell.

 

And, you can watch Airbnb’s opening bell livestream event in full below:

 

Earlier this week, the home-sharing platform launched Airbnb.org, an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis.

According to the company, the inspiration for Airbnb.org began in 2012 with a single host named Shell, who opened up her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

This sparked a movement and marked the beginning of a program that allows hosts on Airbnb to provide stays for people in times of need.

Since then, the program has evolved to focus on emergency response and to help provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and most recently, frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.

From Australia to France, more than 100,000 hosts have offered to open up their homes and helped provide accommodation to 75,000 people in times of need.

Going forward, Airbnb’s Open Homes and Frontline stays programs will now be called Airbnb.org.

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