Lyft shares drive higher on stock market debut

Lyft shares drive higher on stock market debut

Muelle said that Uber would also be watching the IPO with great interest, since its own stock debut is likely to mirror that of Lyft's. Uber has been told by its investment bankers that it could be valued at as much as $120 billion. Others tech companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, Postmates, and more are also readying to go public.

The institutional investors that bought into the IPO clearly think so, enabling Lyft to demand a price that was above its initial goal of $62 to $68 per share.

The IPO raised more than $2 billion to use in its heated competition with Uber to woo riders. Lyft also said it ended up selling 32.5 million shares in the offering, above the almost 31 million that it had targeted in its regulatory filings leading up to Thursday evening's pricing.

Lyft's decision to price its shares at $72 apiece sits at the top of the expected range and gives the company a fully diluted market value of $24 billion.

These firms, which also are stepping up moves to autonomous rides, have been expanding aggressively - with Lyft gaining market share in the United States and Uber in dozens of global markets.

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Lyft embarked on an investor roadshow last week that saw company officials meet with prospective investors from across the U.S. The IPO was oversubscribed just two days into the roadshow, Reuters reported.

"Without question, investors are looking beyond operating losses to the potential upside", in the ride-hailing industry, said Alejandro Ortiz, an analyst for SharesPost.

Lyft's revenue was US$2.16 billion for 2018, double the previous year's and far higher than US$343 million in 2016. The company posted a net loss of $911.3 million in 2018, though, up 32 percent from a year earlier. Currently, Lyft operates in more than 300 US cities across the country and 9 cities throughout Canada, while Uber operates in about 785 metropolitan areas worldwide.

Lyft's business is built on the premise that having a auto is expensive and as more people move into urban areas, they are shifting away from owning a vehicle to using services to get around.

Through Class B shares that carry 20 votes for each ordinary share, co-founders Logan Green, who is chief executive officer, and vice chairman John Zimmer will have about 49% of the voting rights, according to the filing. Lyft's reliance on drivers is a risk factor it mentioned in its paperwork to go public.