Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Airbnb may not be through with the private markets after all, as CNBC reports that the room rental giant is fielding offers from large investment firms, although pricing remains unclear.

Why it matters: 2020 was supposed to be the year that Airbnb went public, either through an IPO or a direct listing (or a combination of the two).

  • But there already was talk before the coronavirus crisis that the company was hedging a bit on timing, and right now there's no way any company — let alone a hospitality company — can successfully run a large float process (even via Zoom).
  • Airbnb last sold stock to VCs at a $31 billion valuation in late 2017. It later sold common stock at a $35 billion valuation, via its purchase of HotelTonight, and in early 2019 had an internal 409a valuation of $38 billion.

The state of play: For Airbnb, this would be protection money. The company does have plenty of cash on hand, and tells Axios that it has not yet laid off any employees, but its quarterly losses climbed in 2019 and its early 2020 results are bound to be abysmal as global travel has ground to a halt.

  • For investors, it's an opportunistic bet based on the belief that everything will be back to normal, or somewhat normal, at some point this year. If you believed a month ago that Airbnb would be a $50 billion public company by year-end, then it could make sense to buy in now in the $20 billion range — particularly as some of the company's hotel rivals may buckle under the weight of their fixed costs.

The bottom line: Dealmaking remains active, including for very well-known names. Just not the deals we were expecting to see.

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.