By John Mannes for TechCrunch
Airbnb formally filed a Form D with the Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon announcing that it had raised $555,462,180 in an equity deal.
Last month, TechCrunch independently verified that Airbnb had filed a 28-page document with the State of Delaware indicating that it had intentions to raise additional late-stage capital. At the time, Equidate speculated that the company was attempting to close an $850 million round. The Form D filed today comes in under that value. However, according to sources close to the company, Airbnb has not yet closed the round. The company has the capacity to increase the ceiling to the original $850 million figure. It is relatively common for companies to file with the SEC preemptively with flexibility remaining for final deal terms to change in the near future.
It remains unclear at this point whether the valuation of the company remains the $30 billion speculated alongside the $850 million round. If so, it could signal a change in the price of the round. A more concrete valuation will be more realistic once the deal formally closes. If the valuation is accurate, Airbnb would move up one place on the Unicorn Leaderboard to become the fourth most valuable private startup.
A laundry list of investors have taken part in Airbnb rounds to date. This includes a $1.5 billion Series E the company closed last year. The company was valued at $25.5 billion at the time of that round. In the months after, it took a notable billion-dollar credit faculty.
Multiple strategic investors are taking part in this deal, also according to our source. Airbnb is not believed to be in need of capital, but the eight-year-old company could be beginning to feel the pressure of employees unable to cash in on common stock and early-stage investors who likely could use liquidity on their highly profitable investment in the unicorn. Regardless of a rumored $200 million stock buyback program, the additional capital will support growth and take pressure off the company to IPO.
In terms of strategic investors, the WSJ notes that Google Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) are leading the deal. This wasn’t denied by our source close to the company. Representatives from Google Capital and TCV are not expected to join the board of directors of Airbnb. Both of these investors are new to the company and tend to focus on growth-stage rounds.
All of this comes amidst a never-ending stream of regulatory challenges for the company. Not only is Airbnb currently embroiled in a legal battle with the City of San Francisco, it is facing new European pressure this week as the city council of Barcelona is asking residents to report illegal rentals. While Airbnb may not be choked for cash, a lack of global consensus around regulating long-term rentals does not provide a smooth runway for the aging unicorn to IPO.
First appeared at TC