Talk about a liquidity premium.
Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO summed the situation up quite well when he was first informed on live television that Airbnb was trading ~$139 per share:
“That’s the first time I’ve heard that number. Um, that is, that’s … I … you know, when we … in April, we raised money, it was a debt financing … uh … that price would have priced us around $30. So I … I don’t know what else to say. It’s … that’s a … that’s a very … that’s … um … that is … yeah … I’m very humbled by it.”
Not bad for a company that was started as a way for Mr. Chesky and his roommates to make their rent payments by renting out an air mattress in their apartment and serving breakfast (thus the name Air bed & breakfast). They then went on to sell $40 boxes of Obama O’s & Captain McCain cereal during the 2008 election.
Fast forward 12 years and Mr. Chesky is now worth ~$11B (according to the NYT). Nice work.