Lyft sets the crucial date of the race at I.P.O.

SAN FRANCISCO – In the eagerness to beat his rival Uber in the public market, Lyft is preparing to start trading in early April, according to two people familiar with the company's plans.

Lyft intends to start her roadshow, in which she will meet investors to comment on the initial public offering, the week of March 18, announced the two people. Businesses usually start trading about a week after a roadshow.

If Lyft wins this race, it will be the first company of its kind to become public. The two companies were stuck in a competition to go public, Lyft facing pressures to be the first to avoid being overshadowed by Uber, which is much bigger.

The start-up, founded in 2007 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, is one of many technology companies that are launching advertising early in the year. Slack and Pinterest are among the others.

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