Airbnb’s rental market is expected to grow at its fastest pace in two decades by a third in two months, according to data compiled by analysts.
The company is seeking to diversify its business model, and to capture more millennial consumers by providing more than just a home rental platform, said Richard Zilberman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
The data, which comes as Airbnb struggles with an influx of legal disputes related to a housing collapse, underscores the challenge for the company as it tries to become a viable enterprise for millennials.
Its growth is projected to be nearly double that of the S&P 500 and nearly four times that of Facebook Inc. That would mean the company would have to raise $1.8 billion, a steep increase from the $1 billion in cash it has raised this year, said Mr. Zilber, who is also an investment advisor.
For the first time in its history, Airbnb is seeing a surge in demand from young people, who are increasingly turning to Airbnb to rent out their homes.
In June, the company reported that its average daily active users rose 6% to 1.27 million.
A new trend of renting out homes has also been fueled by an uptick in interest from students and other young professionals, who have a growing number of roommates.
Airbnb has long said that young people would be its largest single customer group, and its stock has gained more than 20% in the past year.
But the company is now trying to diversifying its business and find a more sustainable way to meet those needs.
Airbnb says it expects its overall rental revenue to rise 10% to $1 trillion this year.
The company has also announced a number of other initiatives aimed at growing its rental marketplace.
Last month, it unveiled a new suite of products, including a marketplace that connects young people to hosts who rent out apartments and condominiums, to compete with Airbnb.