Airbnb’s stock soared on Thursday in its highly anticipated public market debut, closing at $144.71 per share, more than double its initial offering of $68 per share.
That price also gives the short-term rental giant an approximately $86.5 billion valuation. Or, more than the combined market capitalization of the top three hotel chains globally: Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Marriott International, and Intercontinental Hotels Group, which were together worth $84.1 billion when the markets closed Thursday.
Airbnb also surpassed its largest rival among online travel agencies, or OTAs: Booking.com closed at $86.2 billion on Thursday.
Airbnb’s private valuation fluctuated dramatically this year, dropping from $31 billion to $18 billion as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated its business, forcing the company to lay off 25% of its workforce and raise more than $2 billion in debt and equity financing, and even calling the timing of its IPO into question.
But after announcing a surprise $219.3 million Q3 profit when it publicly revealed its IPO filing earlier this month and initially hoping to raise $3.5 billion, Airbnb’s stock traded as high as $165, roughly 143% of its initial asking price of $68.
Airbnb’s successful opening day comes amid a broader tech IPO frenzy this year despite massive economic fallout from the pandemic. On Wednesday, DoorDash and C3.ai posted substantial gains of 78% and 174%, respectively. And in September, Snowflake completed the largest software-technology IPO in history with a 258% surge and has been on a tear since its debut.