Lyft Delivers a Few Punches to Rivals in its IPO Filing

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Lyft had 30.7 million riders and 1.9 million drivers in 2018, racking up US$8.1 billion in total bookings, the filing shows.

Both Lyft and Uber have attracted billions in venture capital and their IPO plans may set the pace for the USA market after the 35-day government shutdown threw up a road block to reviews by the SEC. "Uber's got a bigger market share in the United States but Lyft's market share has been growing and additional publicity for Lyft is going to help it".

Lyft expects investors will focus on the rapid expansion of the company's revenue, bookings, and market share rather than its operating losses. The ride-hailing company is trying hard to persuade investors that it has unique advantages over its major competitors.

That information was laid out on Friday by Lyft in a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of the company's push toward an IPO.

In a move to somewhat improve this strained relationship, stories have broke that Uber and Lyft will be offering the more senior drivers cash bonuses before the eventual IPOs hit and with an even sweeter option: the ability to convert those cash bonuses into shares of their respective employer ahead of the general public. Its 2016 bookings were $1.9 billion. Lyft ridership soared to 18.6 million as of December, up from 12.6 million in 2017 and 6.6 million in 2016.

The company had 30.7 million riders and 1.9 million drivers in more than 300 US and Canadian cities past year.

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With no retirement benefits or other company savings plans, advocates for drivers have long called for the opportunity to have a stake in the ride-sharing companies. In its filing, Lyft said it will pay cash bonuses of $1,000 and $10,000 to drivers who meet certain criteria, and that drivers may use those bonuses to buy the company's shares. Based on the figures in the filing, and assuming steady revenue growth of more than 50 per cent in the next year, institutional investors are likely to value Lyft at $20 billion to $25 billion, he said.

"Lyft has clearly demonstrated progress along its pathway to profitability. but the key question is whether Lyft can accelerate its pathway to profitability", Kulkarni said.

In its risk assessments, Lyft outlined the difficulty of attracting and retaining drivers and riders "in a cost-effective manner", complying with laws and regulations, and being able to manage growth and expand beyond the US and part of Canada. The company lists sustained losses among its risk factors and sees expenses continuing to rise. Lyft is also creating its own autonomous vehicles.

In the filing, Lyft said it's hoping to raise as much as $100 million from investors in its public offering.

The terms mean only a minority of Lyft drivers will qualify, the report https://on.wsj.com/2NAjKbR said.

Krisher reported from Detroit and Liedtke reported from San Francisco.

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