Ahead of IPO, Uber Tries to Manage Expectations

Ahead of IPO, Uber Tries to Manage Expectations

Shares of recently listed Lyft Inc fell to a fresh low and closed the day down nearly 11 percent on Wednesday on news that rival Uber Technologies Inc was close to filing its own initial public offering.

Uber's plans to reportedly sell $10 billion worth of stock in a public offering next month would value the company at around $100 billion, one of the biggest tech IPOs of all time, but less than the $120 billion many investment bankers expected, Reuters reported.

But other people and companies will be worth a lot of money when Uber goes public.

Lyft supporters gather for the Lyft IPO as the company lists its shares on the Nasdaq in the first-ever ride-hailing initial public offering, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 29, 2019.

While Uber periodically provided financial figures in the past, the S-1 filing provided the most detailed look to date at the company's platforms and internal metrics. It has, however, struggled to stem its billions of dollars of losses and has been forced to exit some markets, caving to competition from local rivals. According to Consumer Edge analyst Derek Glynn, the top queries from investors were Lyft's take rate - or revenue as a percentage of bookings, its fate in a world of self-driven cars, and the company's path to making profits.

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Lyft also has problems of its own.

As one of the pioneers of the gig economy, it has grown to rely on contractor drivers, of which it said it had 3.9 million by the end of past year.

"We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability", the company said. The company's drivers have earned more than $78.2 billion through the platform since 2015.

Customers travelled 26bn miles using the app a year ago.

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