Lyft Plans IPO Launch

Lyft might be the first U.S. ride-hailing company to debut in the stock market as it is reportedly planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO). The roadshow for the launch could begin as soon as the week of March 18. Lyft filed a draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its lPO last December.

According to published reports, Lyft is planning on listing its shares on the NASDAQ. Lyft did not state the number of shares it expects to offer nor the price range in its confidential filing with the SEC. Sources familiar with the matter say that Lyft expects to be valued at between $20 billion and $25 billion in its IPO. Lyft was most recently valued at $15 billion.

Last year, Lyft selected JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the lead underwriter of its initial public offering, along with Jefferies Group and Credit Suisse Group. Lyft cofounder John Zimmer said in a statement that he believes “going public brings a certain amount of proper accountability to businesses.” Lyft has raised $2.9 billion in primary capital since April 2017 and has raised $5.1 billion since its inception.

Lyft has had struggles the safety of drivers and passengers. In the most recent news, a Lyft driver in her third trimester of pregnancy was fatally stabbed by a passenger and had her car stolen in January. Lyft is also working to be more transparent about incidents of sexual assault that occur on its platform. The company has said it will release its safety transparency report sometime in 2019.

Lyft’s larger rival Uber Technologies is expected to take several more weeks for its IPO preparations. Uber could be valued as high as $120 billion when it goes public. Consumer analytics firm Second Measure notes that Uber accounted for 69 percent of US rideshare spending in January 2019, whereas Lyft held 29 percent of the market. In January 2017, Lyft had 22 percent market share in the United States.

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