Lyft IPO: Beating Uber to the Punch Absolutely Crucial to Fuel Growth

Posted March 04, 2019

Ride-share company Lyft, which is Uber's closest rival, filed paperwork Friday to raise $100 million in an initial public offering.

The stock will list on the NASDAQ under the ticker "LYFT", a process expected to take place as soon as April.

Lyft was valued at just over $15 billion past year.

The next step for Lyft will be to meet with potential investors during presentations known as a "road show" on Wall Street, then determine how much stock it will sell in the IPO and how much to demand for its shares.

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Lyft, the ride-hailing giant based in the US, has officially filed its S-1 IPO registration and is set to be listed on the NASDAQ by April, before Uber. Both companies generate enormous sums of revenue, with Lyft increasing its numbers to $2.2 billion previous year from just $343 million in 2016.

Like many other IPO candidates, the San Francisco-based business lost nearly a billion throughout 2018, a 32 percent increase from 2017 despite the fact that revenues have doubled. In replacement, Lyft is giving out cash bonuses to some drivers with "good standing", which can be (but doesn't have to be) spent on shares. Its US ridesharing market share was 39 percent in December 2018, up from 22 percent in December 2016. Uber posted revenue $11.3 billion and losses of $1.8 billion a year ago.

The company said it's going after the $1.2 trillion that United States consumers spend on personal transportation every year.

Bookings - the amount of money spent by customers - are rising dramatically, which Lyft will try to emphasize for investors. Lyft already offers bike and scooter-sharing schemes.

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In its filing, Lyft made mention of this: "We believe that our ability to compete effectively depends upon many factors both within and beyond our control, including. our ability to attract and retain qualified drivers and riders".

In a hotly anticipated move, Lyft, the 7-year-old ride-share company, has taken the first step toward going public.

"Investors who own Lyft will have to make room for Uber versus the other way around", Smith said. The ride-sharing company leads a stampede of other highly valued private tech companies that plan to go public this year, including its archrival, Uber, as well as Slack, Pinterest and Postmates. It also handled more than 1 billion rides. Growth year-over-year slipped throughout 2018, falling from 130 percent in the first quarter to 94 percent in the fourth quarter.

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. Lyft is offering some of its most dedicated drivers, who are contractors, a cash bonus that they can use to buy shares in the IPO, it said in a statement.

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The main shareholders of Lyft are General Motors, which has control over 7.76 percent of the company while the Japanese giant in the e-commerce sector Rakuten controls a 13 percent stake in the company.