In June 2020 Goldleaf Australian Income Fund (GAIF) funded approximately A$300,000 of assets for an ex-employee of Airbnb. The funding was secured by a first mortgage over a luxury Sydney residential property and contained an option whereby GAIF could accept payment in cash or in listed Airbnb shares at USD45 each. At this time Airbnb shares were unlisted and GAIF’s option only became live if Airbnb managed to conduct an IPO on a recognised stock exchange by March 2021. Airbnb had been working towards an IPO in early 2020 , however the Covid-19 pandemic saw plans for the IPO shelved. At that time the IPO price was anticipated to be around USD40 to USD50 per share. As the pandemic worsened Airbnb saw reservations on its platform collapse and it raised debt in April 2020 at a valuation that implied a share price of around USD25 per share.
As news of vaccines for Covid-19 grew over the last few months Airbnb saw a sharp increase in its bookings as people sought to have breaks from urban areas where the pandemic was most active. Additionally, many Airbnb employee restricted share units (RSU’s) which had been issued over the period wince 2007 were due to expire in 2021 if Airbnb did not list before then. Consequently the Airbnb IPO was resurrected in November 2020 with a final listing on December 10th 2020. In the lead up to the IPO Airbnb announced an IPO price range of USD44 to USD50 per share. This was revised up to USD56 to USD60 2 days before listing and then revised up on the following day to USD68 per share.
Upon listing the stock exceeded all expectations and today (Dec 22 2020) has traded in excess of USD170 per share. At this price the GAIF loan is now worth over A$1,000,000! This profit has come without taking any real risk of loss and highlights the potential returns GAIF can offer whilst maintaining a low risk profile. It is important to remember that there was effectively little, if any, risk of loss on this investment due to the security in place at the loans inception.
One of the reasons for the incredible demand for Airbnb shares is that it is seem as a clear winner on any pandemic recovery and is therefore attracting demand from investors who have enjoyed exceptional returns from “stay-at-home” stocks such as Amazon, Netflix, Zoom etc.
Regardless of the reasons this has been a substantial win for GAIF investors. For December GAIF is likely to record a return in excess of 20% which will make the year to date 2020 return for GAIF close to +40%.