Airbnb Not Eager for IPO, Makes Changes to Its Room-Booking Tool


Airbnb has been focused on redesigning its website and a new iPhone app that lets users create wish lists.

Airbnb, a website for renting rooms in people’s homes, sees an initial public offering in the wake of Facebook’s IPO as “unappealing,” one of the startup’s founders said in an interview last week.

The San Francisco-based company has instead been more focused on redesigning its website, which was overhauled today with a look that emphasizes exotic vacation destinations. A new iPhone app was also released that, like the website, lets users create wish lists and browse ones compiled by celebrities, including actor Ashton Kutcher.

Airbnb raised $112 million from venture capitalists last year, which the company expected to be its last round of private financing, said Nathan Blecharczyk, the company’s chief technology officer and co-founder. With uncertainties in the public market, Airbnb, which is not profitable, could still try to raise more, he said.

What happened with Facebook’s IPO “certainly doesn’t make you want to rush any kind of event,” Blecharczyk said.

Private financiers are putting less money into companies that are on the verge of going public because of concern over not getting a favorable return on their investments, Steve Case, the America Online Inc. co-founder turned venture capitalist, said at a conference last week.

Facebook’s experience going public, he said, “has chilled the IPO market.”

–Mark Milian and Ari Levy

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