Uber plans to kick off IPO in April

- REUTERS, CALIFORNIA

Mar 17, 2019-

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc is planning to kick off its initial public offering in April, putting it close on the heels of smaller rival Lyft Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Next month, Uber will issue its required public disclosure, known as an S-1, and launch its investor roadshow, the people said. Those events will set in motion the Wall Street debut of one of Silicon Valley’s most closely watched companies.

The timing for Uber’s IPO means it will most likely hit public markets soon after Lyft completes its own public offering, which is expected to happen by the end of March, people familiar with the matter said. Uber declined to comment.

The neck-and-neck race extends a long-held rivalry between the two loss-making companies, which have battled each other for riders and drivers since their inception.

Uber’s business is much larger and more diverse than Lyft’s, and the company has moved relatively swiftly to go public given both firms filed confidential paperwork for an IPO at the same time in December.

Uber, a global logistics and transportation company most recently valued at $76 billion in the private market, is seeking a valuation as high as $120 billion, although some analysts have pegged its value closer to $100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed.

Lyft, a smaller firm which has ride-hailing and bike-renting in the United States and several Canadian cities, is seeking a valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion, up from its $15 billion valuation as a private company.

The two companies are positioned to kick off a string of hotly anticipated public debuts from highly valued tech companies, energizing the IPO market after a quiet start to the year.

Both companies stand to benefit from Lyft joining the public markets first.

Being ahead of its larger rival allows Lyft to take advantage of pent-up investor demand for high-growth tech companies, rather than ceding available investor capital to Uber. And a successful IPO for Lyft would allow Uber to benefit from market euphoria and also demand a high valuation.

Uber’s revenue last year was $11.3 billion, while its gross bookings from rides were $50 billion. But the company lost $3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russia and Southeast Asia.

Lyft’s revenue for last year was $2.2 billion, with $8.1 billion in gross ride bookings. The company lost $911 million.

Published: 17-03-2019 10:26

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