Expect Airbnb to Go Public Within the Next Couple of Years, Investor Says
Airbnb has crucial decisions to make before it eventually floats on the stock market but will likely become a public company in the next couple of years, one investor told CNBC Thursday.
"When they go public, so many factors will go into it â€“ the markets, how they think about international expansion, they want to be able to focus on that for awhile before dealing with the public market pressures," Hemant Taneja, managing director at General Catalyst, told CNBC at the Slush tech event in Helsinki, Finland.
"But I do expect this in the next couple of years some time," he added. General Catalyst currently holds a stake in Airbnb.
The initial public offering (IPO) of the online vacation listings company is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the tech space. Its Chief Executive Officer, Braine Chesky, said in October that the firm will be "ready as absolutely soon as we can" for a floatation. At the time, he denied comments that the company will go public next year, saying that Airbnb will just be ready.
Independent of the timing, Taneja believes that Airbnb has the right profile to become a public company.
"I do think the company has got the skill to go public," he said. "I do think it's one of the most interesting businesses in value when you think about the business model, the unique inventory they have that's available in the community, that they have created in the Airbnb sort of traveling experience."
Launched in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb has built a network across 191 countries in more than 65,000 cities.