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And the IPO is... $LYFT

It may not be in your Siri Suggestions. Or even on your phone’s front page. But today, when Lyft goes public, it’ll at long last overshadow perpetual rival Uber by hitting the public markets first.
Lyft, pricing its IPO at $72 a share and boasting a value of more than $24 billion, is the fifth-largest public offering since the financial crisis, and second only to Facebook’s 2012 offering among U.S. tech startups. Uber’s IPO? Still in the paperwork phase.
Let’s run the numbers
Rides are good. Lyft gave 18.6 million people at least one ride in Q4, up from 6.6 million in late 2016. It has a 39% share of the U.S. ride-hailing market, up from 22% in 2016.
But losses are worse. Total costs and expenses hit $3.1 billion in 2018, up 77% annually. And Lyft reported a loss of $911 million last year, which grew from $688 million a year earlier.
That means Lyft will have lost more than any other U.S. startup in the 12 months leading up to its IPO, per S&P Global Market Intelligence.

But Lyft’s (standing-room only) pitch is about trimming costs. And it’s highlighting that while losses are growing...you should see its revenue. The company reported sales that more than doubled last year to $2.16 billion.
Lyft is changing the tides
For years, stakes in some of this country’s most successful startups have been open only to the VC crowd. When Lyft lists shares on the Nasdaq today, it’ll open the floodgates to anyone with disposable income and opposable thumbs.
And more high-value tech firms could follow. Uber, Slack, Pinterest, and Postmates have all filed SEC docs. Palantir, Airbnb, and Peloton could do the same later this year. Many expect 2019 to be the biggest year on record by dollars raised.


  1. Lyft Inc. LYFT, +11.90% priced its initial public offering at $72 a share, according to a report on The Wall Street Journal that cited a source. That is the top of the range Lyft upped on Wednesday, and values the ride-hailing company at about $24 billion. Lyft filed for the IPO earlier this month.

  2. Rideshare company Lyft will invest up to $50 million in cities where it operates, including Los Angeles, the company announced Friday. 

    The company made the announcement with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Lyft says it will invest $50 million, or 1 percent of its profits - whichever is larger - to support local transportation initiatives. The investments will happen in every city where Lyft operates.