Airbnb Gets Billion-Dollar Investment

Category: Business

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. carry out (something) / ˈkær i aʊt / (phrasal) – to do something
    Example:

    Many employees carried out their regular office tasks from their homes.


  2. endure / ɛnˈdʊər / (v) – to go through an unpleasant thing or situation
    Example:

    We need to endure a long traffic jam to get to the airport.


  3. hold back (someone/something) / hoʊld bæk / (phrasal) – to prevent someone or something from doing a particular action
    Example:

    The heavy rain is holding back the people from going outside.


  4. significant / sɪgˈnɪf ɪ kənt / (adj) – important
    Example:

    Talking to my family is a significant part of my day.


  5. setback / ˈsɛtˌbæk / (n) – an issue that makes progress or success difficult to achieve
    Example:

    A business usually experiences a lot of setbacks before it becomes successful.


Article

Read the text below.

Airbnb, an online platform for listing and renting local homes, has announced that it will receive a billion-dollar investment from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.


In a press release, Airbnb stated that the funds will be used to support its partners, who list their homes as accommodations or carry out Airbnb Experiences, a feature that offers tours and activities.


The investment will help address losses that were caused by several cancellations. Analytics firm AirDNA reported that 80% of Airbnb bookings for the first half of April were canceled because of COVID-19-related restrictions. However, reports also revealed that Airbnb was already enduring losses even before the pandemic started.


Aside from announcing the investment, Airbnb also revealed that it has allotted $250 million to help its partners. The fund will be used to compensate for 25% of the partners’ income losses. Out of the $250 million fund, $5 million will go to the Superhost Relief Fund, which benefits partners who manage highly rated or popular spaces and longtime Airbnb Experiences hosts.


With the investment, the company also plans to expand its long-term accommodations for clients who are relocating for work and studies, as these clients are less affected by travel restrictions.


Silver Lake executive Egon Durban said that although the current situation is holding back the hospitality industry from resuming regular operations, people’s desire for traveling and gaining new experiences remains significant. He believes Airbnb can still thrive once the world recovers from the setbacks brought about by the pandemic.


Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky vowed that the company will strive to recover from its losses. He is positive that many people will want to travel after the global health crisis ends.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were an investor, would you invest in Airbnb? Why or why not?

• How can Airbnb encourage people to use its platform after the pandemic (e.g. give booking discounts, give incentives to hosts)? Discuss.


Discussion B

• In your opinion, what industries will suffer the most during a crisis (e.g. tourism, wellness)? Explain.

• Do you think all businesses can easily recover from setbacks? Why or why not?