Lyft tries to differentiate itself from Uber in its IPO pitch

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In the race to go public this year, Lyft has a head start on rival Uber - at least when it comes to unveiling the details about its planned initial public offering.

The 220-page document provides a picture of a company with high growth and improving economics but widening losses.

Ride-sharing company Lyft filed paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) on Friday, putting it on the path to becoming the first US ride-hailing company to list on the stock market.

The company has managed to grab market share from better-funded Uber, but the filing failed to provide answers to how it will sustain growth or achieve profitability.

The company said its revenue grew from $343.3 million in 2016 to $1.1 billion in 2017 and $2.2 billion in 2018, representing year-over-year growth rates of 209 per cent and 103 per cent respectively.

Lyft is looking to raise as much as $100 million, and will be listed on the Nasdaq stock ticker as "LYFT", according to CNN.

They will also test whether the money-losing businesses can withstand wider investor scrutiny, along with prospects for the cadre of marquee Silicon Valley names pursuing listings. Uber posted revenue $11.3 billion and losses of $1.8 billion a year ago.

The execs couldn't have given too many rides considering the average Lyft trip is about 6 miles or so, which in San Francisco is a trip from City Hall to Ocean Beach and costs about $20 bucks.




Unlike Lyft, Uber for the last few quarters has shared selected financial data with the public.

Lyft expects to be valued as much as $25 billion in its IPO, up from its current $15 billion valuation, sources have told Reuters.

At a $25 billion valuation, Lyft would be trading at almost 12 times its annual revenue. The IPO is likely to take place by the end of March.

Both Lyft and Uber filed confidentially for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December, a process that gives privately held companies more time to keep their financials secret and reduce their exposure to market fluctuations. The company will kick off its roadshow later this month. The service is active in more than 300 markets in the USA and Canada, and Lyft said it had 39 percent of the U.S. ridesharing market in December, up from 22 percent two years before.

In its filing, Lyft said it served 30.7 million riders in the United States and Canada in 2018 and that it had 1.9 million drivers a year ago. The company added that its active riders increased by 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Lyft does not expect to make much in the near future on its expansion into bike and scooter renting.

Lyft's market-share gains in recent years came at a time when Uber was dogged by reports that drivers accosted passengers and that the company allowed rampant sexual harassment internally - revelations that ultimately led its co-founder Travis Kalanick to resign.

Although the company has generated substantial losses in the past three years, it has translated to significant growth in revenue and ride bookings.

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