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Piper Jaffray dives into the online travel space

Airbnb may not be public, but it’s already catching the eye of Wall Street.

Piper Jaffray analyst Mike Olson came out with a note on the state of online travel, highlighting the startup's leadership position in this rapidly growing market.

The San Francisco-based booking company recently reported more than 6 million listings worldwide in more than 100,000 cities.

Olson also noted that there have been more than 500 million Airbnb guest arrivals and an average of over 2 million members staying in Airbnb-listed inventory each night.

competition in the alternative accommodations booking space vrbo, airbnb, booking holdings

As alternative booking expands, Piper expects three major online travel agencies —Airbnb, Expedia (EXPE) and Bookings Holdings (BKNG) — to further veer into each others lanes.

“Alternative accommodations will be a large enough market to support multiple players and, eventually, we expect Airbnb will add more traditional hotel inventory, while, at the same time, major OTAs (online travel agencies) are adding more alternative inventory, resulting in three major OTAs that have a combination of traditional hotels, alternative accommodations and some collection of experiences, restaurant reservations.”

INDIA - 2019/07/17: In this photo illustration a Hospitality service provider application airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Airbnb is one of several giant private tech companies gearing up for a public debut this year, following Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT) and Slack (WORK).

Looking forward, Olson highlights that Airbnb is focused on emerging markets and millennials for additional growth.

“Within emerging markets, Airbnb is particularly focused on capturing mindshare among millennials. There are more than 400 million millennials in China and more than 410 million in India. Millennials are adopting online commerce (including travel bookings) and are more receptive to non-traditional accommodations and experiences.”

Bridgette Webb is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bridgetteAwebb.

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