Ride-hail firm Lyft launches IPO road show in Uber’s shadow

(Reuters) – Lyft Inc on Monday kicked off the investor road show for its initial public offering (IPO), seeking to woo money managers before its bigger ride-hailing rival Uber Technologies Inc makes its stock market splash in April.

An electric scooter from the ride sharing company Lyft is shown on a downtown sidewalk in San Diego, California, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The two IPOs would represent a watershed for Silicon Valley’s technology unicorns, which for years have snubbed the stock market in favor of raising capital privately, with investors happy to back their frothy valuations.

However, the market rally of the last few years, coupled with the desire of some of these startups’ insiders to cash out, is leading to many technology firms, including Airbnb Inc, Slack Technologies Inc and Stripe Inc, to now plan market debuts.

San Francisco-based Lyft said in a regulatory filing on Monday it aims to raise up to $2 billion in its IPO at a valuation of as much as $23 billion. Reuters first reported the details on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Uber hopes for a valuation of as much as $120 billion, according to sources, although some analysts have pegged it closer to $100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed.

In the filing, Lyft said it plans to sell a little more than 30 million class A shares, which have fewer voting rights than class B shares, at between $62 and $68 per share. The company is scheduled to debut on Nasdaq on March 29 under the symbol “LYFT.”

Both Uber and Lyft are losing money, but Uber, which promotes itself as a global logistics and transportation company, is much larger and more diverse than Lyft whose core focus remains ride-hailing.

(Uber and Lyft, side-by-side:

Lyft will pitch investors on the simplicity of its business while Uber is expected to play up its more diversified strategy, according to people familiar with the matter.

Lyft has nearly 40 percent of the U.S. ride-sharing market, but has warned further growth could come at the expense of more losses for a company already deep in the red.

Lyft’s revenue was $2.16 billion for 2018, double the previous year and far higher than $343 million in 2016. Lyft posted a loss of $911 million in 2018 versus $688 million in 2017.

Lyft Chief Executive Officer Logan Green and Vice President John Zimmer together will hold 48.8 percent of voting power after the offering.

J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies are among the lead bookrunners for the listing.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Jeffrey Benkoe

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