Ride-hailing firm Lyft beats Uber in IPO race

High-profile tech unicorn last valued at $15bn

Lyft is expected to IPO in the first half of 2019. Photograph: Getty

Lyft is expected to IPO in the first half of 2019. Photograph: Getty

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Ride-hailing company Lyft beat bigger rival Uber Technologies in filing for an initial public offering that will test investor appetite for high-profile but loss-making technology companies.

The company, which was last valued at about $15 billion (€13.1 billion), did not specify the number of shares it was selling or the price range for the offering in a confidential filing with the SEC.

The IPO is slated for the first half of 2019, sources said. Uber is expected to pursue an IPO next year that could value it at about $120 billion, while home-renting company Airbnb, valued at $31 billion, is also expected to list itself in 2019.

High-profile tech unicorns dominated the US IPO landscape this year. Dropbox was valued at nearly $13 billion in its March debut, while music streaming giant Spotify went public in April with a $26.5 billion valuation.

Market turmoil

But the recent turmoil in the financial markets due to escalating trade tensions between the US and China could dampen investor enthusiasm for the much-awaited tech IPOs.

Uber and Lyft’s IPOs are widely seen as a litmus test for investor tolerance for lack of profitability when it comes to iconic technology unicorns.

The two companies have taken hits to their bottom lines in order to attract drivers and enter new markets, although they have made strides in recent years in narrowing their losses. – Reuters

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