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Lyft Pushes Ahead for a 2019 IPO

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted September 4, 2018

Public transportation has drastically changed recently. Within these past few years, we’ve seen an emergence of new ways to get from point A to point B other than the metro, bus, taxi, or train.

Ride-sharing apps have made their way into our lives in full force. Globally, millions use ride-hailing apps as an alternative way to get to their next destination.

I remember my first Uber ride. Honestly, it was such a crazy concept to me, and I was a little hesitant during my first ride. All my life, I’ve been taught to never get into cars with strangers, but ride sharing-apps like Uber and Lyft challenged that entire concept, ultimately changing our society forever.

Now, an ordinary person can pick me up at my location and deliver me to my desired destination. Of course, these drivers go through the necessary steps to become Lyft or Uber drivers to ensure rider safety. 

Uber and Lyft have transformed the way we think about transportation.

Uber and Lyft: A New Way to Get to Your Destination

According to Forbes, for 2017, Uber’s global business completed 4 billion rides. The company has been around since 2009 and now operates in 600 cities and 78 countries. Uber's business model was one to emulate...

Uber’s competitor, Lyft, has been giving rides since 2012. And it’s become a strong competitor for Uber in those few short years. It’s been growing its business at a fast pace. In fact, in 2017, the company gave 375 million rides, up from 160 million rides in the previous year. That’s a 134% increase in just one year!

Lyft has now taken 35% of the U.S. market share. While this might not seem like too much right now, Lyft hasn’t been around that long, and its business is growing fast.

It’s also creating a reputation for itself that has made ride-sharing users appreciate and even prefer riding with Lyft to Uber.

Uber in Crisis… Lyft Picks up the Slack

2017 wasn’t a great year for Uber, as it seemed to be going through crisis after crisis, but Lyft was there to catch the customers that were turning away from Uber because of its many catastrophes.

Lyft became a better option as riders grew skeptical of Uber’s reputation. The year began with a trending hashtag: #DeleteUber. Hundreds of thousands of riders deleted the app. Then followed the loss of its CEO, as he was faced with an investigation into Uber’s work culture.

Lyft’s VP of Operations, Woody Hartman, had this to say:

I’ve been at Lyft five years, and every year is bigger and more exciting than the last, but 2017 really felt different. It felt like the year in which the public really got to know us for our mission and our values and that led us to bring a bunch of new passengers and drivers onto the platform and achieved the kind of growth that we did.

Uber’s turmoil turned into Lyft’s reward. The public became more aware of Lyft as a ride-sharing option. And as they became more aware of Lyft and its business and values, riders began to respect and prefer Lyft.

Hartman added:

We started 2017 with about 55% of the U.S. population covered with Lyft and ended at 95%. So now almost everyone in America has the opportunity to take a Lyft and drive for Lyft and we’ve seen immense growth from that.

In five years, Lyft has managed to build its business and brand. Now, riders are dedicated to using Lyft as a way to get around. This growth in both business and reputation has helped Lyft become confident in making its market debut. Lyft is now in talks to hire an advisor for a 2019 initial public offering (IPO).

Lyft Aims to IPO in 2019

Lyft has been in talks with an advisor to guide the company toward a March or April 2019 IPO. Lyft recently raised $600 million in its most recent funding round, which was led by Fidelity Management in June of this year. This latest round has doubled the company’s valuation in just a little over a year — the company is valued at $15.1 billion.

Uber has also been contemplating the idea of going public, and there have been rumors that Uber plans to go public in 2019 as well. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said the company is aiming for its IPO in the second half of 2019.

You’d better believe Lyft will begin taking pitches from banks as early as this month in hopes of beating Uber to the public market.

If investors get on board with Lyft before Uber, that would greatly benefit the company and its potential gain market share.

2019 is going to be a really interesting year, especially in regards to which ride-hailing company will benefit the most from its public debut.

We’re finally going to see two extremely popular companies go public, but only one can come out on top.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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