Airbnb reportedly lost money last year as costs ballooned ahead of its planned public listing this year

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Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO

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Airbnb reportedly lost money last year as costs outpaced revenue, casting doubt on the company’s private valuation and the timing of its planned public debut this year.

The home-sharing startup lost $322 million over the first nine months of last year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the company. According to a person cited in the report, that was down from a $200 million profit reported a year earlier.

People cited in the report said the net loss comes despite increased revenue in the third quarter, historically Airbnb’s most profitable quarter, due to rising administrative and technical costs, among other things. The company’s board recently questioned executives over why costs are growing more quickly than revenue, according to the report.

The losses could hurt Airbnb’s valuation as it looks to go public this year. At its last funding round in 2017, the company was privately valued at $31 billion, but the WSJ report says Airbnb’s most recent internal valuation is much lower. The report did not say what Airbnb’s latest private valuation is.

The company announced publicly last year that it “expects to become a publicly-traded company during 2020.”

The WSJ report said Airbnb likely won’t go public until the third quarter of this year. That timing could be affected by the coronavirus outbreak that has swept across China, one person cited in the report said. China is a key growth area for Airbnb. The company’s co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, currently serves as chairman of Airbnb China.

Representatives from Airbnb did not respond to a request for comment.

Read full story in The Wall Street Journal.

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