Airbnb has finally filed the paperwork for its IPO. What’s different about Airbnb’s paperwork is that it disclosed the size of the stakes of each investor, which it is not required to do and which startups usually do not do. Like many tech companies filing IPOs these days, Airbnb is using a two-tier structure. It will sell Class A shares to the public and those shares will have one vote per share. The Class B shares will be owned only by Airbnb’s founders, executives, board members, and key investors. Each Class B share comes with 20 votes per share.
In October, Airbnb sent an email to some of its shareholders telling them they’d receive two shares for every one share they own. Following this, Airbnb’s common shares were worth $34.88 each. We’ve used this figure to reach the value of each major shareholder’s stake. This is far from a perfect method, but we don’t know which investors have seed-stage stock in Airbnb that can be executed for $0.01 and we don’t know which late-stage investors paid more than $50 per share. Let’s look at what each major Airbnb investor is on track to make in the IPO (before the purchase price of their shares) from the largest haul to the smallest.
Investor Sequoia Capital: $2.8 billion
Class A shares: 691,612
Class B shares: 81,277,532
Total shares: 81,969,144
Sequoia Capital led the seed round for Airbnb in 2009. The company invested $585,000 into the then-brand-new startup. Sequoia has participated in every funding round since and is Airbnb’s largest shareholder.
Back in 2009, Alfred Lin, a partner at Sequoia Capital and former COO of Zappos, was skeptical about Airbnb. He thought the idea that people would open their homes to strangers was crazy. It was founder Brian Chesky that won him over. Chesky was able to lay out the trajectory of the business rather than just focusing on the overall vision. Chesky also understood how hard it would be to make Airbnb a widely accepted thing, which Lin appreciated.
Co-founder Brian Chesky: $2.7 billion
Class B shares: 76,938,518
Brian Chesky is not just one of Airbnb’s three founders, he was the then-fledgling company’s first host. The idea was born in 2007 when best friends Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia realized that pretty much all of the hotels in San Francisco were sold out during the huge Industrial Designers Society of America conference. They came up with the idea of turning their apartment into a bed and breakfast for people attending the conference. They didn’t have extra beds or bedrooms, but they did have three air mattresses. They inflated them and called themselves Airbed and Breakfast. Three people stayed with Chesky and Gebbia and they charged them $80 a night.
Chesky is the CEO of Airbnb and over the last 12 years, he has ushered the company through crazy growth, lawsuits, two recessions, a pandemic, and now, its IPO.
Co-founder Joe Gebbia: $2.4 billion
Class B shares: 70,093,067
Back in the early days of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia went door-to-door to hosts to take photos of their homes for Airbnb’s website and app. Today he is Airbnb’s Chief Product Officer and heads up the company’s in-house design studio. He also develops new products and services for the country.
The IPO will vastly increase his wealth. However, Gebbia and his other two co-founders are all members of the Giving Pledge and have committed to donating at least half their wealth to philanthropic causes in their lifetimes.
Co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk: $2.4 billion
Class B shares: 70,093,135
Nathan Blecharczyk joined Airbnb when its only two employees were Chesky and Gebbia and their only hosts were Chesky and Gebbia and their three air mattresses. Whereas Chesky and Gebbia are both designers, Blecharczyk is an engineer with a degree from Harvard University. Blecharczyk developed the company’s data science, engineering, and performance marketing departments. Today he leads global initiatives for Airbnb as Chief Strategy Officer.
Nathan Blecharczyk came on board at Airbnb when it was just Chesky and Gebbia at the company.
Investor Founders Fund: $926 million
Class B shares: 26,556,110
Founders Fund invested in Airbnb in 2013. They led the Series C round in 2013 and bought in at $5.90 per share. The company was particularly impressed with Brian Chesky and the sixth sense he seemed to have about what Airbnb’s customers wanted from the homes they rented.
Investor DST Global: $493 million
Class A shares: 3,052,922
Class B shares: 11,093,112
Total shares: 14,147,034
DST Global is Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s firm. He is a former banker. He founded DST Global in 2009. DST invested in Airbnb’s Series B round in 2011. That was the round that officially gave Airbnb its unicorn status.
Investor Silver Lake: $175 million
Class A shares: 5,026,804
Investor Sixth Street Partners: $138 million
Class A shares: 3,967,398
We’ve grouped these two private equity firms together because they invested at the same time – in April when Airbnb was losing money daily as a result of the global lockdowns due to the coronavirus. This investment was a lifeline for not just Airbnb, but the travel industry in general.
Board Member Brenda Johnson: $88 million
Class B shares: 2,531,978
Belinda Johnson joined Airbnb in 2011 as its chief legal counsel. She was promoted to COO in early 2018. In 2019 she resigned from that role. Her last day was in March 2020, but she was made a board member at that time. She was at Yahoo before Airbnb. She is also on the board of directors of PayPal. She sold 466,824 shares of her Airbnb stock in May for $27.4 million. She forfeited some of her unvested stock and option when she quit. That said, she got new stock when she was made a board member. When all is said and done, including the May sale for $27.4 million, Johnson will make more than $115 million from her Airbnb shares.
VP of Luxury Jonathan Poulin: $79 million
Class A shares: 2,279,756
Jonathan Poulin sold his startup that specialized in luxury vacations to Airbnb in 2017 for $300 million. He joined the company to set up a luxury division.
Board Member Kenneth Chenault: $53 million
Class B shares: 1,526,160 (option he can exercise before November 29)
Kenneth Chenault was Airbnb’s first outside board member. He is the former CEO of American Express. He’s been with Airbnb since 2018. He is also the chairman and managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst.
Shareholder Accel: $32 million
Class A shares: 919,308
Airbnb bought one of Accel’s companies, Hotel Tonight, in 2019 for $400 million. Accel had a sizeable stake in Hotel Tonight after leading its 2011 seed round. Accel converted its shares of Hotel Tonight into a stake in Airbnb.
Former President of Homes Greg Greeley: 9.6 million
Class B shares: 277,776 (option he can exercise before November 29)
Greg Greeley came to Airbnb in 2018 to run its home rental division. Previously, he was the head of Amazon Prime. Greeley left Airbnb during its executive shakeup early in 2020. He is an advisor at early-stage venture capital firm Tapas Capital.
CTO Ari Balogh: $5.3 million
Class B shares: 152,496 (option he can exercise before November 29)
Aristotle “Ari” Balogh joined Airbnb in 2018 from Google. He was the VP of engineering on the infrastructure behind Search at Google. Prior to that, he has led an 8,000 member product and engineering team at Yahoo.
CFO Dave Stephenson: $1.6 million
Class B shares: 46,666 (option he can exercise before November 29)
Hiring a CFO is important for a startup planning its initial public offering. Dave Stephenson joined Airbnb in 2018. He had previously worked at Amazon for 17 years.
Global Head of Hosting Catherine Powell: $1.3 million
Class B shares: 37,916 (option she can exercise before November 29)
Catherine Powell joined Airbnb this year from Disney. She ran the theme parks division for the U.S. and France. At Airbnb, she is the head of the global team that combines the rental and Airbnb Experiences groups.
Board Member Angela Ahrendts: $413,000
Class B shares: 11,848 (option she can exercise before November 29)
Former Apple executive Angela Ahrendts joined Airbnb’s board of directors in 2019. At Apple, she was senior VP of retail. She was also the tech giant’s highest-paid executive.
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