Airbnb has announced that its long-awaited public offering of stock will take place in December, despite serious losses during and before the pandemic—and to no one's surprise, it's expected to be a hot seller.
As with many other technology and 'new economy' enterprises, making profits doesn't seem to be the measure for success; many have gone public while running up large losses on the premise that a future profit will come from dominating a niche or market that is viable.
Amazon is sometimes cited as an example for that; it went public in 1997, five years before its first profit. And Airbnb's twelve years in business do include two years of profit, although those are now several years in the rear-view mirror.
However, few companies have enough believers to attempt an IPO in a year when business fell off by more than a third and the company laid off a quarter of its staff. But Airbnb believes it will recover faster than the hotel industry, and that travelers will now see private spaces as safer than a crowded hotel.