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HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples said he’s hearing rumors about rival Airbnb doing an initial public offering and he’d welcome the prospect.
Asked about Airbnb’s larger valuation of around $20 billion compared with HomeAway’s $2.9 billion valuation given the fact that HomeAway likely averages much higher revenue per booking, Sharples said there is a difference between private valuations such as Airbnb’s and public valuations such as HomeAway’s.
“I would like to see the numbers behind that valuation,” Sharples said, referring to Aibnb’s financials.
Speaking at the Piper Jaffray Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference in New York City March 10, Sharples said HomeAway thought about entering Airbnb’s rooms’ space and the condo hotels sector that Bookng.com favors, and opted to stick with its “whole house” orientation, which is reflected in a new marketing campaign.
“We are not 20-somethings going to a city for a couple of days,” Sharples said.
The HomeAway co-founder and CEO said he welcomes competition from Airbnb and others but believes HomeAway has a big market opportunity in vacation rentals.
In other news, Sharples said HomeAway “was getting set to charge into Russia” but “backed out” because of geopolitical concerns.