What We Learned From Uber Making Its IPO Filing Public

Posted April 14, 2019

Both Uber and Lyft lose money though Uber has trimmed its losses in recent years.

Reuters reported late Tuesday that rival Uber would seek to sell around $10 billion worth of stock in an IPO, and file the offering with regulators as soon as Thursday.

Its operating loss was $3bn while revenue for the year came in at $11.3bn, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Seemingly chastened by Lyft's experience, Uber is expected to aim for a lower valuation, as well as a more generous initial price.

Uber's projected valuation would be higher than its most recent private valuation of $76 billion, but less than its rumored $120 billion target-likely a recalculation due to Lyft's slow entrance to the public market. The company claims more than 65 percent market share in the United States and Canada, versus Lyft's stated 39 percent in the United States. The company said in the filing that it lost US$1.8 billion in 2018, excluding certain transactions, on revenue of US$11.3 billion. The company hasn't yet disclosed the number of shares it will offer or its intended price range. Uber discloses its "core platform contribution profit", a hand-selected metric meant to show the revenue of its two main businesses minus some of the driver incentives, legal costs and other stuff.

Among other things, Uber revealed the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into a yearlong cover-up of a massive computer break-in during 2016 that heisted personal information belonging to millions of passengers and drivers.

Even though Uber and Lyft both submitted their confidential IPO filings to the SEC on December 6, 2018, Uber's decision-makers are reportedly able to learn from Lyft's mistakes, according to Bloomberg. "Just a small percentage of people in countries where Uber is available have ever used our service", Dara Khosrowshahi, the company's CEO, wrote in the SEC filing. New York City taxi drivers experienced a major win in August 2018 when the city council said it would cap licensing new Uber and Lyft services for a year so the city could study ride-sharing services' effects on transportation. Pinterest declined to comment.

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was ousted from the firm in 2017 amid controversies over company culture, owns an 8.6 per cent stake as its third biggest shareholder. However, its shares dropped by more than 7 percent after Uber's valuation news hit the market.

Uber released its initial public offering Thursday ahead of a public listing that experts say could set records.

Since its launch in 2009, Uber has aimed for global dominance of the ride-hailing industry through investor-subsidised fares and new ventures such as food delivery and self-driving vehicles.