Markets

Investors hail Lyft shares in IPO, see profits down the road

Investors hail Lyft shares in IPO, see profits down the road

Shares of the ride-share company surged more than 20 percent during its Nasdaq debut Friday, ending the day off session highs and putting the company's valuation of about $22 billion.

Through its IPO, Lyft will raise funds and expand its offerings to cities around the US and Canada. Lyft trades on Nasdaq under the ticker "LYFT".

Lyft's US market share has expanded from 22 per cent in 2016 to 39 per cent past year as Uber slogged through revelations about rampant internal sexual harassment claims, allegations that it stole self-driving technology and other mortifying issues, prompting a consumer backlash.

"In those early days we were told we were insane to think people would ride in each others' personal vehicles", said Green, who is also the CEO.

Lyft, founded in the summer of 2012, is an on-demand transportation-as-a-service company that matches drivers with passengers who request rides through its smartphone application.

Co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer talked about their early vision of the company and their commitment to providing alternatives to individual auto ownership. "While smaller upstarts continue to enter the space, Uber and Lyft enjoy a duopoly".

That is still a fraction of the $120 billion valuation that investment bankers have told Uber it could wind up with in its IPO in April, thanks to its worldwide presence and expansion into sectors such as food delivery and freight hauling.

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In 1998, it set common crash-test standards, and in 2006 made wearing seat belts mandatory in all cars. Brake's director of campaigns, Joshua Harris, explained: "This is a landmark day for road safety".

Their combined stake in Lyft is worth more than $1bn.

Lyft's offering fulfilled a key strategic goal for the company: beating larger rival Uber to the market.

"We didn't used to be able to take companies like this public", market experts Carol Roth said during an interview on "After The Bell" Friday.

The company ranks as the third-largest B2C human cloud platform with estimated human cloud gross spend of $5.26 billion in 2017 (note: this is not total sales for the company), according to Staffing Industry Analysts' report "The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2018 Update". As the company debuts in the stock market on Friday, it hopes to convince investors the "nice guy" image will pay off.

One issue has been increased congestion: Schaller Consult estimated there are more than 10,000 taxis and ride-hailing vehicles on the road at the center of Manhattan each afternoon, two times the level in 2013. Its co-founder, Ben Horowitz, sits on Lyft's board.

Lyft says it will invest $50 million annually or 1 percent of profits in transportation initiatives in cities. They also had the privilege of investing their incetives as stock ahead of the IPO until last Thursday. With its current rate, Uber is valued at around $70 billion on the private market, making it the most highly valued USA startup in the world.


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