Airbnb throws employees a bone to hold them over until a 2020 IPO

Airbnb has delayed its IPO so long that employees are starting to get angry, prompting the launch of a new cash bonus program and the promise of a 2020 IPO.

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, announced a new cash bonus plan for employees to appease ’bnb’ers who are impatient to taste the sweet IPO fruit of their labors.

Chesky also announced plans to take Airbnb public in 2020 — but, thanks to plentiful investment (and recent profitability), he’s in no rush.

Employees are antsy

The 10-year-old company has been profitable for 2 years in a row, prompting employees at the $31B travel giant to demand a way to cash out on some equity before they cash in on their retirement benefits.

So, to please the people, Chesky will offer cash bonuses and give employees an opportunity to sell their stock for cash every quarter instead of every year.

On top of the cash perks, Chesky also gave employees a timeline — promising an IPO by the end of 2020 at the latest.

But it sure doesn’t need to IPO

Financially speaking, at least. In the current economy, it’s easy for companies with a good brand and solid financials to raise money — which is exactly what Airbnb has done in 13 different funding rounds totaling more than $4.4B.

Plentiful funding gives Airbnb flexibility, but scaling a business privately also carries risks. 

Airbnb will have to deal with internal changes (it needs a new CFO), and external challenges (the rise of Booking.com, expensive regulation) — and if it doesn’t navigate them well, it could go the way of the Domo.

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