Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners will invest $1 billion in Airbnb to help the home-share giant mitigate the fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The funds - a combination of debt and equity securities - will be used to invest in Airbnb’s community of hosts and enable the company to “be in the strongest possible position as travel rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company says.
According to co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as travel recovers, he believes people will be interested in visiting locations close to home and finding local experiences. To that end, he says the future of Airbnb will focus on three core products: hosts, long-term stays and Airbnb Experiences.
For hosts, Chesky says Airbnb will “invest in our hosts and bring more of them into our community,” although the company declined to provide specifics on how this will be accomplished.
Airbnb previously outlined its long-term stay strategy, which includes a new suite of tools for hosts.
As for Experiences, the company says the focus will be on activities available year-round, not just during travel.
Says Silver Lake co-CEO and managing partner Egon Durban: “While the current environment is clearly a difficult one for the hospitality industry, the desire to travel and have authentic experiences is fundamental and enduring.
“Airbnb’s diverse, global and resilient business model is particularly well suited to prosper as the world inevitably recovers and we all get back out to experience it.”
Adds Sixth Street Partners CEO and managing partner Alan Waxman: “Airbnb created an enormous new category, underpinned by the leading brand and technology platform, as well as a community founded on trust.
“The company’s achievements speak for themselves, and we are excited by the opportunities on the horizon as they continue to grow their geographic footprint, accommodations and experiences.”
Airbnb will contribute $5 million of the $1 billion investment to its Superhost Relief Fund, which will provide grants up to $15 million to Superhosts who need help paying their rents or mortgages.