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Will AirBnB will go public before 2019?
Along with ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber, AirBnB is a vanguard company in the "sharing economy" in which people make money sharing their property with complete strangers. It's a fairly new business model that hasn't yet achieved profitability or cleared all of its regulatory hurdles.
The concept is simple - people looking to spend the night in a certain city, but who don't want to shell out for a hotel, can rent spare rooms and spare spaces in people's houses. AirBnB provides the platform for renters and owners to connect, and collects a percentage of the transactions as its revenue. Pluses: The company doesn't have to spend a dime on building hotel properties or hiring hospitality staff. It's just a marketplace, where renters and owners do most of the work.
Minuses: The company is getting blowback from the governments of both San Francisco and New York City, both of whom are cracking down on non-hotel rentals less than 30 days in duration.
Since 2014, rumors have been circulating that AirBnB was preparing for an initial public offering, or IPO, that would make it a publicly-owned company, with stock available on a major stock exchange. As recently as June 2016 the rumors were ramping up again, based on financial rumblings that the company could initiate an IPO to raise cash for expansion. AirBnB turned again to private investors, however, raising around $850 million and valuing the company at $30 billion dollars. After such a large cash infusion, it may be a while before AirBnB need to raise more money from the public.
A successful IPO may be all in the timing, however. New York's and San Francisco's objections to the room-sharing economy could stall growth in those major markets and decrease eventual demand for stock.
Will AirBnB go public before 2019?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.