The company filed documents Friday to raise up to $ 100 million during its public call for savings. This reserved amount may vary depending on investor demand.
After years of investors waiting on Wall Street for a long list of startups worth billions of dollars, 2019 announces it as a rush to the famous unicorns. Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest and Postmates should all be made public this year.
Lyft's public market debut may be an indicator of how these companies will be received by investors. In particular, Lyft will almost certainly be seen as an approximation of what to expect from its main rival Uber, a much larger company. Like Uber, Lyft bleeds money. Lyft's net loss reached $ 911 million in 2018, compared to $ 688 million a year earlier. Uber, by comparison, lost $ 1.8 billion last year, according to the company's financial statements last month.
In its list of risk factors, Lyft warned that "we have suffered net losses each year since our inception and we may not be able to achieve or maintain our profitability in the future".
As is often the case with technology companies becoming public, investors will have to weigh a history of money loss compared to the attractiveness of a fast growing company. Lyft achieved a turnover of $ 2.2 billion in 2018, double the previous year.
Lyft has been considered for years as a more user-friendly alternative to Uber. Lyft, which was launched in 2012 by co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, often marked his early cars with pink furry mustaches. Lyft passengers were encouraged to sit in front and even punch their drivers.
Uber, on the other hand, was launched in 2009 as a black car service. As proudly exhibited former CEO of this company, Travis Kalanick, Uber's starting principle was to let him, along with his friends, "ride around San Francisco like ballers".
Uber has used bulldozer in front of Lyft and other rivals through a combination of aggressive fundraising, unfair maneuvering and a blameless attitude towards US-based expansion. United and abroad. The company seemed unstoppable. Then, in 2017, Uber was upset by the overwhelming headlines of his corporate culture and by boycotting clients. He also saw an exodus of executives, including Kalanick.
While Uber controlled the damage, Lyft collected more money, spread to several other cities, and gained market share against his rival. According to its filing, Lyft's market share in the US door-to-door market increased from 22% at the end of 2016 to 39% in December 2018.
He is now about to defeat Uber in the public market.
"We are like hard missionaries," Green told CNN Business during a talk last year. "I think people see the missionary aspect, or see that we care about taking care of others, and suppose that means we will be less competitive."
Green and Logan have a small stake in their own company, but Lyft chooses to use a two-class structure that will give them more votes per share. According to the Lyft file, the effect would be to "focus the voting power with our co-founders", potentially to the detriment of new shareholders having a say in the management of the company.
Despite all the differences in the perception of their brands, the two companies face many of the same problems. Like Uber, Lyft is facing a long road to profitability and an uncertain regulatory landscape in various markets. Like Uber, Lyft is also facing the threat of sexual assaults of passengers by drivers.
If that were not enough, the two companies also have overlapping private investors, including Fidelity and Alphabet, Google's parent company. The latter invested in Lyft through CapitalG, its growth equity investment division, and in Uber, through another entity called Google Ventures, which later became GV.
Lyft and Uber have presented their services as a way to achieve the more ambitious goal of ending car ownership in the long run, even though some cities blame them for worsening the congestion.
To achieve this goal, Lyft and Uber rely on cars, electric scooters and autonomous bikes. Uber went further by investing in car theft.
There is no guarantee that these noble wagers are unfolding. "The autonomous vehicle sector may not continue to grow," notes Lyft in his risk factors, "or autonomous vehicles may not be adopted by the market, which could have an adverse effect on our prospects."