Uber Files For IPO, Paperwork Confidential

Uber Technologies Inc. has filed paperwork for its initial public offering (IPO), according to sources familiar with the matter. The S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission was reportedly filed confidentially. Details of Uber’s filing, including exactly when it was submitted, weren’t immediately available.

According to the sources, Uber’s filing indicates it could go public as soon as the first quarter. That would be earlier than expected. Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi previously said he expected to seek an IPO in next year’s second half. The company recently hired its first chief financial officer in more than three years. Other recent hires include a new chairman and a chief compliance officer.

People familiar with matter said the Uber may also be weighing strategic transactions ahead of the IPO. Those deals, which could include mergers and acquisitions, could boost the valuation in the offering, but they could also push the timeline back by several months.

Uber currently has roughly 20,000 employees and operates in about 70 countries worldwide. It’s most recent private valuation was $76 billion and it has raised about $20 billion to date. Despite that, Uber has continuously been unprofitable. Its third-quarter loss was $1.07 billion despite increasing its sales 38 percent to $2.95 billion.

Smaller rival Lyft Inc. has also filed an S-1 with the SEC for an IPO. Lyft is aiming to debut in March or April, says people familiar with the matter. Lyft has raised $5.1 billion to date and had a loss of $254 million on sales of $563 million in the most recent quarter. As of October, Uber had 69 percent of the U.S. market, while Lyft had 28 percent according to Second Measure.

Both planned IPOs may be among the biggest offerings aimed for 2019. Other potential IPOs in 2019 includes data-mining company Palantir Technologies Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc.

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