Airbnb (ABNB)

Close up of isolated mobile phone with red airbnb logo lettering on computer keyboard.
Ralf Liebhold/Shutterstock

2020 was a big year for Peter Thiel. Three months after Palantir went public, Airbnb completed its IPO.

And it was quite the debut.

The company was originally priced at $68 per share. On its first day of trading — Dec. 10 — it closed at $144.71, marking a gain of 113%.

Known for its online platform for vacation rentals, Airbnb has survived the worst of the pandemic. And its financials are now on the rise.

In Q2 of 2021, the company reported 83.1 million nights and experiences booked. That was up 197% from the pandemic-struck Q2 of 2020.

Revenue totaled $1.3 billion for the quarter, up nearly 300% year-over-year, and also surpassed Q2 2019 levels.

In other words, Airbnb is pumping out more revenue than even compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Year to date, the stock has returned around 15%. Other travel stocks such as Tripadvisor and Expedia are also up double-digits in 2021.

Of course, with COVID variants still lurking, investing in the vacation space isn't easy.

The good news? If you're on the fence about jumping in, some investing apps will give you a free share of Airbnb or Tripadvisor just for signing up.

Lyft (LYFT)

Fiat 500 painted pink and carrying a Lyft logo is parked in the streets of Manhattan.
Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, shares of the ride-sharing technologist Lyft took a massive nosedive. And for good reason.

At a time when people were stuck at home, who needed to get around?

But with the economy having largely reopened, it’s fair to say that Lyft has regained its forward momentum. The stock is up a whopping 105% over the past 12 months.

Thiel was one of the earliest backers of Lyft and would certainly be proud of what the company has become.

In Q2, Lyft brought in $765 million of total revenue, representing a 125% increase year-over-year and a 26% improvement sequentially.

While Lyft runs a growing business, it’s quite a bit smaller than its competitor Uber Technologies in terms of market cap. Uber is also getting renewed investor attention, with shares up around 29% over the past year.

Facebook (FB)

Facebook user touch on love button in Facebook application on iPhone 7.

At this point, Thiel only has a relatively small stake in social media giant Facebook. But he continues to serve as a board member — a position he has held since 2005.

Facebook made headlines earlier this week due to its massive outage, which also took down its other products including Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, and Oculus.

The shares fell more than 5% on the news.

That said, the stock has rewarded investors with a commendable 24% return year to date, easily topping the S&P 500.

Facebook is a behemoth in the social media space, with a market cap of over $900 billion. For context, that’s much larger than the market cap of Twitter, SnapChat, and Pinterest combined.

And despite its already established presence, the company continued to expand its reach.

In Q2, Facebook’s monthly active users increased 7% year-over-year to 2.9 billion. For the company’s entire product lineup, MAUs rose 12% to a whopping 3.51 billion.

Facebook trades at a seemingly steep price of $335 per share. But you can get a piece of the company using a stock trading app that allows you to buy fractions of shares with as much money as you are willing to spend.

Get rich like Peter Thiel (starting with $10)

Everyone wants to invest like Peter Thiel.

But turning small amounts of money into big fortunes often involves making risky bets.

For risk-averse investors, there are far safer ways to become a millionaire with small change.

For instance, you can invest spare change while you shop, and some apps will even add a $10 bonus to your account as soon as you make your first investment.

You can even jump into premium commercial real estate, which used to be off-limits to small investors. But thanks to new platforms, you can start building your own portfolio of premium real estate properties — from commercial developments in LA to residential buildings in NYC.

About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan


Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. Prior to joining the team, he was a research analyst and editor at one of the leading financial publishing companies in North America. An avid advocate of investing for passive income, he wrote a monthly dividend stock newsletter for the better half of the past decade. Jing holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Toronto.

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