Lyft valued at $24.3 billion in first ride-hailing IPO

Posted March 30, 2019

"Lyft has been successful against big odds because we have always prioritized the long term sustainable growth of both our community and our company", said John Zimmer, president and co-founder. Yesterday, while interacting with CNBC at an event organized by The Gatehouse in Texas, Buffett responded to a question about Lyft IPO, saying, "I think buying new offerings during hot periods in the market ..." Lyft's overall bookings hit $8.1 billion in 2018, as 1.9 million drivers ferried almost 31 million customers in the US and Canada.

Lyft raised US$2.34 billion its IPO.

It is expected to be one of the largest IPOs ever for an American startup in the tech sector, only exceeded by that of Facebook in 2012.

During that time, its losses also grew, from US$688 million in 2017 to US$911 million past year.

The real test will come when the stock hits the public market for its first day of trading -- and beyond.

Lyft is trying to catch up to Uber, which is expected to go public later this spring.

Originally published March 28, 2:20 p.m. PT.Update, 3:14 p.m.: Adds Lyft's confirmation of preopen share price set at $72.

Lyft's increased price range suggests that investors are willing to overlook concerns about the company's profitability.

JP Morgan Chase & Co led the offering with Credit Suisse Group AG and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

It's become increasingly common for unprofitable tech companies to go public, and the percentage of money-losing tech companies that entered the market in 2018 rivals 2000, when the dot-com bubble burst, according to data from Jay Ritter, finance professor at the University of Florida. It's concentrated on being a stable transportation-focused company and hasn't experienced the same amount of turmoil as Uber, which generated so many bad headlines that a #DeleteUber movement cropped up two years ago.

Counting for things like restricted stock options, Lyft's valuation would be as high as US$24.3 billion.

The Lyft app is seen on a passenger's phone.

The company didn't give any preference when allocating shares to potential stockholders who weren't investors in Uber, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because it wasn't public. Lyft's price bump showed there was "genuine demand and excitement", he said.