Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed Monday ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock.
The San Francisco-based company has yet to set a date for the IPO but it is laying the groundwork by filing financial records with U.S. securities regulators.
The documents show that leading up to the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, Airbnb was spending heavily on technology and marketing to grow its business. The company said it was expanding its operations and adding new programs, like tours and other experiences that travelers could book through its website.
Its revenue jumped 32% to $4.8 billion in 2019, but it reported a net loss of $674 million that year. The company also lost money in 2018 and 2017.
This year, Airbnb said, revenue fell 32% to $2.5 billion in the first nine months as travelers canceled their plans after the pandemic crippled travel and forced lockdowns around the world.
The pandemic forced a financial reckoning, the company said. In May, Airbnb cut 1,900 employees, or around 25% of its workforce, and slashed investments in programs, like movie production, not related to its core business.
Airbnb funded operations with $2 billion from various sources, including a $1 billion investment from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.
Now, the company said, demand is rebounding as some travelers see home rentals as safer than crowded hotels. The number of nights and experiences booked, which plummeted more than 100% in March and April, were down 28% in July, August and September.