Airbnb looks to change its fortunes with new partnership deal
Why it matters: Airbnb has announced a deal with former Apple chief designer, Sir Jony Ive. The multi-year agreement will see Ive and his team at LoveFrom, revamp Airbnb’s current product offerings. The move comes at a time when Airbnb is struggling to maintain revenues in an increasingly competitive market and when it’s moving towards an IPO.
According to details revealed by FT, Ive and his team will focus on the development of Airbnb’s online platforms. He will be bringing decades of experience to the company. While at Apple, Ive was involved in the design of iconic products such as the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
Airbnb hopes to turn its fortune around using the LoveFrom partnership as it angles for an IPO later this year. Its revenues reportedly tumbled by over 60 percent in the second quarter ending June, which is not exactly good news for investors, but evidently expected when we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
The company has attempted to improve its balance sheet in recent months by increasing the number of mid-term rental offerings in tandem with rising demand. The fad is reportedly driven by a surge in the number of remote workers seeking new dynamic working environments. More companies are embracing work-from-home setups, and this is a major contributing factor.
According to data compiled by accommodation analytics firm, AirDNA, much of the current transformation is being driven by the evolution of the digital nomad.
Like other companies impacted by the coronavirus, Airbnb has had to downsize its workforce to stay afloat. About 25 percent of its staff got the pink slip in April. It’s not all doom and gloom however, as the company is looking to raise about $3 billion in December following its initial public offering. This will potentially escalate the company’s valuation to over $30 billion, which is higher than the $18 billion estimate reported earlier this year.
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