Lyft races ahead of Uber to Wall Street listing

Ann Santiago
Марта 4, 2019

The ride-hailing company on Friday publicly filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for what could be as much as a $25 billion initial public offering. The US ride-hailing service, Lyft has revealed its S-1 document, which is the official document required to go public in the US. Both companies generate enormous sums of revenue, with Lyft increasing its numbers to $2.2 billion past year from just $343 million in 2016.

Lyft was valued at just over $15 billion past year. Smith added. "The longer the losses ... the less valuable the company will be".

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.

And losses could continue, Lyft cautioned, as the seven-year-old company continues to invest and expand.

The company has discussed the possibility of expanding globally but so far has operated only in the USA and Canada. In its early days, Lyft cars sported large, fuzzy, hot-pink mustaches on the front grill, and the company encouraged riders to sit up front with the driver and exchange fist bumps. The company's revenue of $2.2 billion previous year represents Lyft's slice of the bookings. Unlike Lyft, Uber for the past few quarters has shared selected financial data with the public.

Lyft´s IPO is the first of the so-called "sharing economy" startups which have been transforming some industries, with listings expected this year from the other giants in the field, Uber and Airbnb. If all goes smoothly, Lyft's stock market debut will likely occur in late March or early April. This would make Lyft one of the largest tech IPO's in many years.

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At a $25 billion valuation, Lyft would be trading at almost 12 times its annual revenue. The same multiple would suggest a roughly US$135-billion valuation for Uber, which had US$11.3-billion in revenue a year ago. In the S-1 form filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Lyft revealed that its revenue is growing quickly as it gains market share - but in 2018 it posted net losses of almost $1 billion.

That group includes Pinterest Inc., which has also submitted its confidential filing to the SEC, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

At the moment, Lyft is in control of 34 percent of the ride-hailing market in the United States, a number that it has worked very hard to improve over the years.

Unsurprisingly, Lyft is deep in the thralls of debt and is completely unprofitable now.

Lyft's filing on Friday says that CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer, both co-founders, will keep significant control of the company after it goes public.

But Lyft's 2018 acquisition of Motivate, a bike-sharing network, is not expected to materially increase revenue in the short term, according to the filing. It has matched Uber's efforts to develop self-driving cars and has also expanded into short-term bike and scooter rentals.

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