Airbnb shares soar following initial public offering

Which? urges passengers to book direct with providers

Shares in holiday rental company Airbnb have surged on their first day of public trading.

At the close of the day, the organisation had a valuation of more than $100 billion.

The massive listing – the biggest of the year in the United States – raised $3.5 billion for the company at the end of what has been a challenging year.

Airbnb said it would use the money to help it survive the pandemic, which has devastated travel.

Demand for shares in the company saw the price of a share more than double from the initial offering of $68 apiece.

Airbnb bookings crashed this spring, forcing it to slash staff numbers by 25 per cent and raise $2 billion in emergency funds.

Last month, the firm said travel had returned somewhat over the summer, as people looked to escape locked down cities with long-term rentals within driving distance.

The company reported a surprise profit for the July, August and September months.

But the firm has warned that renewed lockdowns in many places will weigh on recovery.

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