Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

Airbnb is laying off a nearly 1,900 employees, or a quarter of its global workforce, as it tries to weather the near total halt of travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite raising $2 billion in debt and equity last month, cutting marketing expenses and freezing hiring, the company couldn't escape having to cut a significant number of jobs.

  • "Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019," CEO Brian Chesky said in a company email announcing the layoffs.
  • For severance, employees will receive 14 weeks of pay, plus an additional amount based on their tenure and location. They will also receive extended health care coverage (for 12 months in the U.S. and through the end of the year elsewhere), and the company is removing the first-year minimum to vest their equity if they joined in the past year.
  • The layoffs were not a condition to Airbnb's recent financings, per a spokesperson.
  • Questions also remain about the company's plans to go public this year.

Go deeper: CEO Brian Chesky's full statement

Go deeper

The new buyout barons

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Last month I wrote that SPACs are the new IPOs. But I may have understated it, because SPACs are also becoming the new private equity.

By the numbers: Short for "special purpose acquisition company," SPACs have raised $24 billion so far in 2020, with a loaded pipeline of upcoming offerings. U.S. buyout firms raised nearly $102 billion through the end of June — a much larger amount, but not so much larger that the two can't play on the same field.

Electric vehicle startup Nikola claims progress but stock plunges

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nikola Corp., a company planning to build electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, posted an $86.6 million quarterly net loss Tuesday in what was its first earnings report after going public in June.

Why it matters: Nikola is attracting lots of attention for plans to build a line of semi-trucks, as well as a pickup, in the coming years as it tries to break through in those fledgling markets.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 19,497,292 — Total deaths: 723,854 — Total recoveries — 11,823,105Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 4,994,276 — Total deaths: 162,381 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.