Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Lyft files for IPO, beating out rival Uber

Lyft files for IPO, beating out rival Uber

The number of shares to be offered, the nominal value of the shares and the timing of the IPO were not immediately known.

Lyft's IPO is expected to commence after the SEC completes its review process, it said in a press release on December 6.

However, sources told Reuters that the IPO would take place in the first half of next year.

The two IPOs will give investors their first chance to buy stakes in the ride-hailing phenomenon that has transformed the way people get around, particularly in big cities. Those banks have pitched valuations for the company ranging from about $18 billion to $30 billion, the people said. John Zimmer, Lyft's co-founder, in 2016 said he expected a fully autonomous fleet to provide most of the company's rides within five years. Uber has already disclosed it will go public next year, but hasn't indicated when.

Lyft was valued at $15 billion after raising money from investors in the private markets, a figure that it probably will seek to increase in its IPO.

The SEC filing escalates the company's rivalry with Uber, which has been struggling with scandals. Yandex.Taxi, Russia's largest ride-hailing service part-owned by Uber, is also looking to list in 2019.

"It's not surprising that Lyft is going public before Uber because in many ways they are in better shape to go public than Uber is", said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University's business school and the author of "The Sharing Economy".

"Lyft has built a very US -based rideshare business that has done well", Green said.

Ride-hailing startup Lyft is steering toward the public financial markets.

"With autonomous cars on the horizon, it is anyone's guess where this sector goes in the future", said Jeff Zell, senior research analyst and a partner at IPO Boutique in Florida. Its investors include General Motors Corp, which holds a 9 per cent stake in Lyft that it acquired for $500 million in 2016, but GM has wound down its co-operation with Lyft, choosing instead to acquire the autonomous vehicle company Cruise. A decision by the California Supreme Court earlier this year, which makes it easier for workers to prove they are employees and sets a higher standard for companies to treat workers as contractors, threatens to upend Lyft and Uber's business models.

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