Airbnb

The unicorn myth exposed

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

A huge shift in American business was overshadowed amid impeachment last week: Investors are rethinking hot startups with frothy valuations and putting discipline (and reality) above the myth of the almighty and all-knowing founder.

The big picture: The market is now bringing private valuations around to reality, as skittish Wall Street investors have been punishing billion-dollar-plus initial public offerings with questionable balance sheets or paths to profitability.

New York City is making Airbnb investors nervous pre-IPO

In this image, the Airbnb app is displayed on a smartphone.
The Airbnb logo on a tablet screen. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Amid plans to go public in 2020, Airbnb is still sparring with New York City in its latest battle over illegally listed short-term rentals, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Investors want the company "to sort things out with New York" before filing for its IPO, according to Bloomberg — but "Airbnb has been at odds with New York for almost its entire existence."