Airbnb secures $1bn debt facility to fund growth

Deal gives home-sharing company more money to spend on global growth strategies

Setting the scene for an IPO? While Airbnb hasn’t announced plans for an imminent initial public offering, investment banks often arrange debt facilities for successful private companies in hopes of building relationships to win future business like underwriting an IPO.(Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Setting the scene for an IPO? While Airbnb hasn’t announced plans for an imminent initial public offering, investment banks often arrange debt facilities for successful private companies in hopes of building relationships to win future business like underwriting an IPO.(Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

 

Airbnb secured a $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest US banks to help the home-sharing company develop new services and fund growth initiatives. 

The financing gives Airbnb more money to spend on global growth strategies and expansion beyond home-sharing. The San Francisco-based company is building add-on travel services, Bloomberg reported in March, and it’s running a TV ad campaign right now, a particularly pricey form of customer acquisition.

While Airbnb hasn’t announced plans for an imminent initial public offering, investment banks often arrange debt facilities for successful private companies in hopes of building relationships to win future business like underwriting an IPO. Facebook got an $8 billion package of financing from a group of banks in 2012, some of which helped take the social network operator public two months later. 

Airbnb, last valued at $25.5 billion, has watched Uber Technologies raise more than $11 billion in cash and debt. That number could climb by at least $1 billion when Uber, worth almost $68 billion, closes its latest debt financing.

Airbnb and Uber are often discussed in the same breath because they were founded within a year of each other and have come to define the on-demand economy. But their spending and fundraising practices are drastically different.

Airbnb runs a comparatively low-cost business, while Uber is spending heavily to subsidise growth and battle well-funded rivals.In the first three quarters of last year, Uber lost $1.7 billion on $1.2 billion in revenue.

Airbnb has lost less than $250 million since it started in 2008, and it generated roughly $1 billion in revenue last year, a person familiar with the matter said.

Airbnb also has more than $2 billion in cash and more than $2 billion in customer deposits from booking payments people make to the company, which it passes on to hosts later, a person familiar with the matter said. 

Bloomberg