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Photo illustration: Axios Visuals

Airbnb is rolling out new equity grants and a cash bonus program to appease employees' impatience over the company's long-awaited IPO, which could be as soon as June 30, 2019, a source tells Axios.

Why it matters: Startups have benefitted from the plentiful availability of late-stage capital to remain private longer. The downside is that long-time employees become restless, especially if they have few opportunities to sell their stock.

The Information first reported Airbnb's compensation news.

In February, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky made clear that the company will not go public this year, on the same day he announced the departure of finance chief Laurence Tosi. The company's recent moves, such as adding an independent board director and announcing an annual stakeholder report, further fueled rumors it was on the verge of making the jump.

Employee compensation changes:

  • The company will dole out cash bonuses based on company performance this year and in 2019.
  • New equity grants will now start vesting quarterly instead of the traditional one-year cliff.
  • Employees will also have the option to take some of their new equity grants in the form of cash instead.

But, but, but: Airbnb still needs to fill crucial executive positions, including chief financial officer, before it can go public. The company aims to go public by late 2020 at the latest, which is when some equity grants expire.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.

America can't quit polarizing politicians

Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New data finds that the nation's most polarizing politicians are often the ones that garner the most attention online.

Why it matters: Online engagement helps politicians build a bigger national profile and more fundraising power, incentivizing them be more outrageous, more polarizing and more divisive.