Lyft IPO Beats Uber to the Punch

Lyft valued at $34.3b in first ride-hailing IPO

The stock opened at $87.24, up 21 per cent from its offering price of $72. That gives the company a market value of about $22.4 billion.

All eyes were on Lyft Friday morning as investors rushed to get a piece of the first big USA technology listing of the year.

Lyft's IPO represents a watershed moment for ride hailing, an industry hatched from the rise of smartphones. Shares closed the official trading day at $78.29 (roughly Rs. 5,400), up 8.7 percent. "We don't know how the stock will perform in the long term, but this morning feels like the first step in a potentially historic year for IPOs".

Lyft is planning to get funds of $2 billion by going public.

The initial public offering (IPO) marks a major triumph for Lyft, which beat its arch-competitor Uber in the race to go public and helped shift the ride-hailing industry from a private gig economy business into a formidable Wall Street player.

In the road show video of Lyft's IPO, its co-founder, John Zimmer lists out many reasons for their win.

Aggarwal also said the company's co-founders, CEO Green and President John Zimmer, worked in recent weeks to make investors comfortable with Lyft's dual-class share structure, which has faced criticism from some investors and corporate governance advocates.

Unlike Uber, which has developed its own self-driving division, Lyft has chosen to strike partnerships to expand in the sector, including with vehicle parts suppliers Magna International Inc and Aptiv Plc.

The company's US market share has expanded from 22 percent in 2016 to 39 percent a year ago as Uber slogged through revelations about rampant internal sexual harassment claims, allegations that it stole self-driving technology and other mortifying issues, prompting a consumer backlash.

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Lyft exceeded market expectations with its initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday, raising $2.34 billion and fetching a valuation of $24 billion.

The rivals are also vying to become broader transportation platforms that connect consumers to e-scooters, electric bikes and local transit systems.

Analyst Richard Windsor, who writes the tech blog Radio Free Mobile, argues that Lyft may not be ready for the scrutiny it will face as a publicly-traded firm.

Green and Zimmer will maintain near-majority control of the company through Class B shares that carry the voting rights of 20 ordinary shares.

Reflecting strong demand, the number of shares to be sold was increased to 32.5 million from 30.8 million.

Other big winners include some of the company's early investors, including General Motors with a stake worth $1.5 billion, and Alphabet, the owner of Google and Waymo, with a stake worth $1 billion.

It intends to do some good with its money-announcing that it plans "to invest the greater of 1% of our profits or $50 million annually toward our social impact efforts".

Bussewitz reported from NY.

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