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Data: Edison Trends; Note: Indexed to 100 = highest weekly spend at Marriott; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Airbnb filed to go public last month, a seemingly strange move for a company that was forced to lay off a quarter of its workforce in May.

Why it matters: Airbnb looks as though it's vastly outperforming expectations from this spring.

The big picture: While the hotel industry is still in terrible shape and asking for a federal bailout, Airbnb looks as though it has become one of the more improbable winners from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Vacationers prefer homes they can have to themselves over buildings that they have to share with other people.
  • People working remotely have realized that if they can work from anywhere, they might as well work from somewhere beautiful.

By the numbers: Estimates from Edison Trends show Marriott and other hotel chains seeing much lower spending than at this time last year. At Airbnb, by contrast, spending is hitting new all-time highs.

  • Airbnb spending is running a whopping 75% higher than this time last year, says the research shop, based on a panel of spending data including more than 65,000 Airbnb transactions.
  • That means Airbnb's revenues have comfortably surpassed Marriott's, for the first time.

The bottom line: Airbnb's pandemic boost won't last forever. But if nervousness about sharing enclosed spaces persists, and if remote work becomes more broadly accepted, both will be good news for the startup.

Go deeper

Dec 10, 2020 - Podcasts

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talks IPO, pandemic and air mattresses

Airbnb began trading Thursday on the Nasdaq at a valuation north of $100 billion, which is more than Marriott, Hilton and Expedia combined.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the year's largest IPO, and how Airbnb has navigated a perilous year for travel and hospitality, with company co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Dec 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Airbnb value tops $100 billion in Wall Street debut

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Shares of Airbnb reached the stratosphere as they began trading on Thursday, doubling their IPO price before closing the day at nearly $145 apiece.

Why it matters: The high-flying price means that Airbnb is now valued at more than $100 billion, but also increases the pressure on the company as the U.S. heads into a potentially deeper struggle with the coronavirus.

Behind Wall Street’s soaring valuations

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Fears of the "B"-word (bubble) are growing louder. There's a staggering split screen: a teetering economy with millions unemployed in a pandemic that's killing thousands per day and newly public tech companies riding high on nosebleed valuations.

Yes, but: Investors acknowledge the backdrop is bad. They say investors are piling into and betting on companies like Airbnb and DoorDash for better times ahead.