Ride-hailing app Lyft launched its initial public offering (IPO) yesterday, raising more than $2bn (£1.5bn) after pricing its shares at $72 each.
Lyft becomes the first ever ride-hailing business to host an IPO, beating rival Uber which is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange next month.
Following the interest shown on the company’s IPO roadshow, Lyft’s offering had become oversubscribed. As a result, its bankers decided to raise the target share price from $62-68 each to $70-72.
The IPO also represents a landmark liquidity event for private market investors, which had invested billions in the company. To date, debt and equity funding in Lyft totalled $5.1bn – valuing the firm a $15.1bn last year.
Shares of the San Francisco-based company went live on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Friday morning, under the ticker symbol “LYFT”, with the offering expected to close on 2 April 2019.
Last year, Lyft doubled its year-on-year sales to $2.2bn. Despite this, the company also recorded losses of $911m – representing the largest net losses of any pre-IPO business in history.
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The company has reportedly sold all of the shares planned for the IPO, despite concerns around future profitability. Lyft increased its incentives for drivers and riders by 55% to $837m in 2018, as competition with Uber to secure drivers and customers heats up. The firm also came under scrutiny for its dual-class share structure, while concerns have also been raised over its strategy for autonomous driving.
Launched in 2012 by founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, Lyft has remained focused predominantly on the US and Canadian markets. According to regulatory filing, it now has almost 40% of the US ride-sharing market.
In 2016, Lyft announced a partnership with carmaker General Motors, which invested $500m as part of a Series F funding round. The partnership was centred around the acceleration in the ride-sharing market, as well as the autonomous car market.