24 April 2019
Ride-hailing services giant Uber is said to be keen to beat smaller rival Lyft in launching an IPO. Photo: Reuters
Ride-hailing services giant Uber is said to be keen to beat smaller rival Lyft in launching an IPO. Photo: Reuters

Uber makes confidential filing for IPO: report

Uber Technologies has filed paperwork for an initial public offering, Reuters reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The ride-hailing company filed the confidential paperwork on Thursday, moving in lock-step with its smaller US rival Lyft which also filed for an IPO last week, according to the report.

Uber is eager to beat Lyft to Wall Street, sources were quoted as saying.

The filing sets the stage for one of the biggest technology listings ever. Uber’s valuation in its most recent private financing was US$76 billion, and it could be worth US$120 billion in an IPO, the report said. 

Together, Uber and Lyft will test public market investor appetitive for the ride-hailing business, which emerged less than a decade ago and has proven wildly popular, but also unprofitable.

In the third quarter this year, Uber lost US$1.07 billion and is struggling with slowing growth, although its gross bookings, at US$12.7 billion, reflect the company’s enormous scale.

Its revenue for the quarter was US$2.95 billion, a 5 percent boost from the previous three months. Bookings grew just six percent for the quarter.

Uber has raised about US$18 billion from an array of investors since 2010, and it now faces a deadline to go public.

An investment by SoftBank that closed in January, which gave the Japanese investor a 15 percent stake in Uber, included a provision that requires Uber to file for an IPO by Sept. 30 of next year or the company risks allowing restrictions on shareholder stock transfers to expire.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Uber’s IPO filing.

Uber operates in more than 70 countries, while Lyft is in the US and Canada, although the smaller company is plotting a global expansion.

Uber has also added a number of other businesses, which are growing but have yet to show sustainable profits, in a bid to become a one-stop mobility app.

The businesses include freight hauling, food delivery and electric bike and scooter rentals.

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