Ride-hailing services company Lyft has filed plans for an initial public offering in the United States, beating bigger rival Uber Technologies in making a move on that front.
In a confidential filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, the San Francisco-based firm did not specify the number of shares it plans to sell or the price range, Reuters reports.
Lyft was last valued at about US$15 billion in a private fundraising round in June this year.
The company could go public as early as the first quarter of 2019, based on how quickly the SEC reviews its filing, sources told Reuters.
The IPO could see Lyft being valued in the range of US$20 billion to US$30 billion.
Lyft was set up in 2012 by entrepreneurs John Zimmer and Logan Green, and has raised close to US$5 billion from investors.
While it continues to grow faster than its larger competitor, Uber, it is also losing money, the report noted.
The filing by Lyft, which hired JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Jefferies as underwriters, plants a flag in the ground to go public before larger rival Uber. The race between them is one of the most closely watched in Silicon Valley.
A provision included in an investment by SoftBank into Uber requires the company to file for an IPO by Sept. 30 or the company risks allowing restrictions on shareholder stock transfers to expire.
Uber investor Mitchell Green, a partner at Lead Edge Capital, said Lyft going public first bodes well for Uber, because if Lyft trades at a high multiple, the much-larger Uber will command even more money.
“Lyft has built a very US-based rideshare business that has done well,” Reuters quoted Green as saying. “If public market investors get excited about that they are really going to get excited about a business that is 5X the size.”
Earlier this year, Lyft said it had 35 percent of the US ride-hailing market. The company operates in the US and Canada, while Uber is in much of the world and has other businesses including freight-hailing and food delivery.
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