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Lyft officially kicked off the road show for its initial public offering on Monday. Photo: AP Photo

Ride-hailing giant Lyft seeks valuation of nearly US$20 billion in year’s biggest IPO

  • No 2 US ride-hailing giant is offering 30.8 million shares at US$62 to US$68 each
  • Lyft will continue to be controlled by co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, who will be issued Class B shares

Lyft is seeking to raise as much as US$2.1 billion in its initial public offering, valuing the firm at almost $20 billion.

The No 2 US ride-hailing giant is offering 30.8 million shares at US$62 to US$68 each, it said in a regulatory filing on Monday. At the top of that range and including a potential overallotment of shares to investors, the market valuation would reach US$19.6 billion, based on the total numbers of shares outstanding after the IPO as detailed in the filing.

At the targeted range, the San Francisco-based company’s offering will be the biggest from a tech upstart since Snap went public two years ago, and the largest in the US so far this year after the partial US government shutdown put a damper on first-quarter listings.

Including the money Lyft is expecting to raise from the IPO, as well as some likely dilution of shares, the total valuation of the company could be US$21 billion to US$23 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lyft had earlier been aiming for a valuation of US$20 billion to US$25 billion.

The filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission puts Lyft further ahead in its race to go public with Uber Technologies, the world’s biggest ride-hailing company.

Uber has filed confidentially with the SEC and intends to make its listing plans public in April, according to people familiar with the matter. Smaller start-ups including Postmates and Slack Technologies are also considering listings.

Uber could be valued at as much as US$120 billion in an IPO, people familiar with its plans have said previously, likely making its offering one of the top five of all time.

Lyft warned in its filing that expenses are likely to increase and that it may not be able to “achieve or maintain profitability in the future”.

While Uber is pursuing food and freight delivery, scooters, electric bikes and even flying cars, Lyft remains focused on transport, including bikes and scooters.

The new filing spells out how much of Lyft will be controlled by co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer once the company is public. The two will be issued Class B shares, which will equal the voting rights of 20 ordinary shares.

The offering is being led by JPMorgan Chase & Co, Credit Suisse Group and Jefferies Financial Group, with more than two dozen other banks taking part. Lyft has applied to list shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LYFT”.