Rental giant Airbnb is highlighting cryptocurrency and blockchain as two emerging technologies that could be crucial to the company’s success in the future.
In a prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO), Airbnb gives an in-depth look into the company’s current financial state and future strategies to increase profitability.
The vacation rental industry is rapidly evolving in terms of technological standards, and product and service offerings, says Airbnb. To adapt to changing consumer preferences and demands, the company emphasizes the importance of integrating new technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence into its platform.
“Our future success will also depend on our ability to adapt to emerging technologies such as tokenization, cryptocurrencies, new authentication technologies, such as biometrics, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud technologies. As a result, we intend to continue to spend significant resources maintaining, developing, and enhancing our technologies and platform.”
Also part of Airbnb’s long-term strategy is investing in educating hosts, improving host quality, and expanding their global network, the company adds.
“If we fail to retain existing hosts or add new hosts, or if hosts fail to provide high-quality stays and experiences, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be materially adversely affected.”
Since its founding in 2008 during the height of the great global recession, Airbnb has registered strong year-on-year growth.
However, global travel restrictions that were implemented in the past nine months to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the company’s business operations and financial condition, says Airbnb.
“In early 2020, as COVID-19 disrupted travel across the world, Airbnb’s business declined significantly. But within two months, our business model started to rebound even with limited international travel, demonstrating its resilience.”
So far in 2020, Airbnb has registered $17.9 billion in bookings, a drop of 39% from 2019.
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