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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > SEC

Ride-Sharing No. 2 Lyft Starts IPO Race With Public Filing

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Lyft Inc. filed for a U.S. initial public offering, giving investors a first look at crucial financial information about the ride-sharing company as it heads for the public markets.

Lyft filed with an initial offering size of $100 million, typically a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that’s likely to change. The IPO is being led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., according to the filing.

Lyft’s prospectus provides an opportunity for outsiders to get a closer look at the company’s finances, which it hasn’t previously officially disclosed. The 220-page document provides a detailed overview of the company’s success since its start in 2012, as well as the potential risks it faces.

San Francisco-based Lyft posted a net loss of $911 million on revenue of $2.2 billion for 2018, according to Friday’s filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. That compares with a loss of $688.3 million on revenue of $1.1 billion for the previous year. Growth year-over-year slipped throughout 2018, falling from 130 percent in the first quarter to 94 percent in the fourth quarter.

Banks working with Lyft on its listing have pitched valuations for the company ranging from $18 billion to $30 billion, people familiar with the matter said in December. By last week, that range had narrowed to $20 billion to $25 billion, according a person familiar with the matter.

Driver Bonuses

Lyft had 30.7 million riders and 1.9 million drivers in 2018, racking up $8.1 billion in total bookings, the filing shows. Lyft is offering some of its most dedicated drivers, who are contractors, a cash bonus that they can use to buy shares in the IPO, it said in a statement. The bonuses will range from $1,000 to $10,000 for drivers in good standing.

Lyft applied to list shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LYFT.”

In June, Lyft announced that it had raised $600 million in a round led by Fidelity Investments at a $15.1 billion valuation. Its investors include Alphabet Inc.’s private-equity arm CapitalG, KKR & Co. and Baillie Gifford.

Friday’s filing gives Lyft a leg up in its race with Uber to go public this year. Both ride-sharing companies filed their draft statements to the Securities & Exchanges Commission in the same week in December, and had received initial feedback from the regulator as of Feb 11.

IPO Rush

Both Lyft and Uber have attracted billions in venture capital and their IPO plans may set the pace for the U.S. market after the 35-day government shutdown threw up a road block to reviews by the SEC. They will also test whether the money-losing businesses can withstand wider investor scrutiny, along with prospects for the cadre of marquee Silicon Valley names pursuing listings.

That group includes Pinterest Inc., which has also submitted its confidential filing to the SEC, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Food delivery company Postmates Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. have said they have filed confidentially with the SEC, too.

Lyft’s listing is likely to be dwarfed by that of Uber, which was founded in 2009 and is backed by Softbank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund and venture capital fund Benchmark.

Uber was most recently valued at $76 billion in August, when Toyota Motor Corp. invested $500 million in the company. Banks have sketched out valuation scenarios for Uber as a public company that stretch as high as $120 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.

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