Airbnb closes in on $1.5 billion fundraising deal

Airbnb closes in on $1.5 billion fundraising deal

Airbnb is reportedly close to agreeing a massive $1.5 billion fundraising, as it becomes the latest “sharing economy” company from the US to tap booming demand in Asia.

If completed, the funding would boost its valuation to $24 billion and match the $1.5 billion that Facebook raised a year before its 2012 initial public offering.

Car sharing service Uber, another sharing economy company looking to expand in Asia, is also pursuing a $1.5 billion investment that would boost its valuation to $50 billion.

The Airbnb transaction would also internationalise the investor base of the online accommodation-sharing site, reflecting the expanding global ambitions of Silicon Valley’s leading private companies, the Financial Times reported.

The financing is set to be led by US private equity firm General Atlantic with participation from Beijing-based Hillhouse Capital and investment firm Tiger Global, according to people familiar with the plans. All three are new investors in Airbnb.

Other new investors in the latest round include UK investment firm Baillie Gifford and US mutual fund group Wellington, with fellow mutual fund companies Fidelity and T Rowe Price topping up their holdings

News of the impending agreement, which two people familiar with the matter said appeared to be imminent, comes days after it was revealed that Hillhouse was also leading a planned investment in Uber, which has targeted China for a major expansion drive.

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