Earlier today, we issued Airbnb’s fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results. You can read the details here. Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky said:
“Our performance in 2020 showed that Airbnb is resilient and inherently adaptable. Travel is coming back and we are laser-focused on preparing for the travel rebound.”
Here is a snapshot of our Q4 and full year 2020 results, and our 2021 plan:
- Q4 2020 revenue was down only 22% year-over-year, demonstrating Airbnb’s resilience. At the depth of the pandemic, we forecasted our 2020 revenue could be less than half of what it was in 2019. Yet in the end, total revenue of $3.4 billion for 2020 decreased only 30% compared with $4.8 billion in 2019. In Q4 2020, revenue of $859 million declined only 22% compared with $1.1 billion in Q4 2019, despite the second wave of COVID-19 cases and lockdowns the world experienced in Q4.
- Q4 2020 net income was impacted by charges related to our IPO. Charges associated with our IPO and our subsequent stock price increase contributed to our net loss in Q4 2020 and fiscal year 2020. Upon our IPO in December 2020, we recognized a non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $2.8 billion. This is much larger than a typical quarter because at the completion of the IPO (similar to many other companies) we were required to recognize a significant portion of all stock-based compensation provided to Airbnb employees over the last several years. The increase in our stock price also increased the value of warrants issued in connection with a term loan agreement entered into in April 2020. We recorded a non-cash mark-to-market adjustment of $827 million related to the warrants in Q4 2020. As a result, GAAP net loss was $3.9 billion in Q4 2020 and $4.6 billion in 2020, compared with GAAP net loss of $352 million in Q4 2019 and $674 million in 2019. GAAP net loss in the second half of 2020 was $3.7 billion, compared with $85 million in the second half of 2019.
- Q4 2020 Adjusted EBITDA was materially improved from a year ago, despite the impact of COVID-19 on our revenue. In Q4 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(21) million, compared with $(276) million in Q4 2019, despite revenue being $248 million lower. In 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(251) million, compared with $(253) million in 2019, despite revenue being $1.4 billion lower. For the second half of 2020, following our work to refocus the company and reduce costs, our Adjusted EBITDA was $481 million. In the second half of 2019, our Adjusted EBITDA was $37 million.*
- Due to our strong financial discipline in 2020, all operating expense line items (excluding stock-based compensation and stock-settlement obligations) were down from a year ago. Excluding the impact of stock-based compensation and stock-settlement obligations, which represent employer and related taxes associated with the IPO, improvements in our cost structure enabled us to reduce our operating expenses on a year-over-year basis in all categories. This was due to our efforts throughout 2020 to reduce discretionary spending, improve variable costs and tightly manage fixed expenses across the company.
- Looking forward to 2021, we are preparing for the travel rebound. As the vaccine is rolled out and restrictions lift, we expect there will be a significant travel rebound. Our single priority in 2021 is to prepare for this travel rebound, perfecting our existing product by improving the entire end-to-end experience of our core service for both Hosts and guests.
*A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures is provided at the end of the shareholder letter.