Airbnb secures further $1bn to get through ‘storm of the pandemic’

15 Apr 2020

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Not long after receiving vital investment to support the company during Covid-19 restrictions, Airbnb has secured a $1bn loan from a number of big names.

Airbnb has announced that it secured $1bn in a syndicated term loan from key investors. It comes just a week after the company revealed that it received funding worth $1bn from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, in a combination of debt and equity securities.

In its brief statement, the company said that the latest $1bn will ensure that Airbnb “can continue to invest in its company and community of hosts and guests”.

Future Human

Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, said: “I deeply appreciate the confidence and trust that so many have shown in our company even as every sector in travel is going through the storm of the pandemic.

“We know travel will return and rather than merely hunkering down, the support we have received will allow Airbnb to continue moving forward as we invest in our community. All of the actions we have taken over the last several weeks assure that Airbnb will emerge from the storm of the pandemic even stronger, regardless of how long the storm lasts.”

Bookings plummeted

According to the Financial Times, this latest funding was led by Apollo Global Management and Owl Rock Capital, with Silver Lake and Sixth Street providing further backing. This loan will span five years and is senior to the debt the company raised last week, according to those familiar with the deal.

Due to travel restrictions and tourism plummeting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb shelved plans to go public later this year as its income dropped substantially. Data revealed in March showed the company’s year-on-year bookings were down 95pc in Asia, 75pc in Europe and 50pc in the US.

A fund of $250m has been set aside for Airbnb hosts to help cover the cost of cancellations due to the pandemic, as well as a $10m fund for ‘superhosts’. This fund was started by employees who raised $1m in donations, followed by a $9m donation from Airbnb’s founders.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic