Airbnb bans all events and limits houses to 16 people as it confidentially files IPO

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Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event in San Francisco on Feb. 22, 2018. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Airbnb is officially banning party houses and capping listing occupancy at 16 people, the company announced on Thursday.

“This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice,”Airbnb revealed in a blog post. The ban is an extension of an already existing rule Airbnb implemented in late 2019, and represents the company’s latest attempt to alter its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move also comes amid a confidentially filed IPO – the latest indication that Airbnb intends to go public this year.

As the coronavirus pandemic ended travel for millions, Airbnb pivoted business away from experience-centric vacations. The company enacted new health and safety requirements for hosts, and offered an “extenuating circumstance” policy to the service’s users that allowed them to cancel rentals due to pandemic-related concerns.

It also laid off a substantial portion of its staff: About 25% of Airbnb employees were cut in May.

In July, after travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders began lifting, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company’s business has bounced back. “We were down, but we’re not out,” Chesky said in an email to employees shared with Business Insider. “We’re not committing to going public this year, but we’re not ruling it out. When the market is ready, we will be ready.”

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