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Lyft prices IPO at $72 a share, valuing company at $24B

Lyft prices IPO at $72 a share, valuing company at $24B

Still, Lyft has been able to pick up more riders in the last couple of years, thanks in part to big public stumbles by Uber, which prompted some users to look for alternatives.

Lyft, the second largest US ridehailing firm, will begin trading at Nasdaq on Friday, after pricing its IPO at $72 per share - at the top of the range. Uber has been told by its investment bankers that it could be valued at as much as US$120 billion.

"Lyft is shooting itself in the foot by going public, as I continue to think that the company is not ready for the harsh glare of the public market and it is giving away a big edge that it could have had over Uber", Windsor writes. It paves the way for other Silicon Valley companies seeking to float in the stock market this year, including Pinterest, Slack Technologies and Postmates.

Lyft said in a statement that it priced 32.5 million shares Thursday at US$72 each. On March 27, the company increased the indicative price range for its IPO to $70-$72 a share, from $62-$68 previously, implying a fully diluted market capitalization of more than $24 billion.

The IPO market had a slow start in 2019 due to volatile markets at the end of a year ago and the government shutdown in January blocking U.S. regulators from processing new IPO applicants. That's significantly higher than its $15 billion estimated valuation as a private company. The company's executives made stops in cities such as New York, Baltimore, Kansas and Los Angeles.

Lyft embarked on an investor roadshow last week that saw company officials meet with prospective investors from across the U.S. The IPO was oversubscribed just two days into the roadshow, Reuters reported.

Lyft's revenue was US$2.16 billion for 2018, double the previous year's and far higher than US$343 million in 2016.

Since then, Lyft has launched several initiatives outside of the ride-hailing space, including carpool rides, bikes and scooters for rent, and self-driving cars.

Who gets rich: Rakuten, General Motors, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, CapitalG, Floodgate, Valerie Jarrett, and Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green have the largest stakes. Developing autonomous vehicles is key to reducing driver costs, and Lyft is behind competitors such as Google spin-off Waymo, which has begun testing a ride-hailing service using its robotic minivans in the Phoenix area.

Welcome to this year's IPO season!

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