Lyft officially files paperwork for an IPO

  • Lyft said Thursday that it has filed a confidential draft registration statement with regulators to go public.
  • It's the first major ride-hailing company to officially launch its IPO, beating its much larger competitor Uber. 
  • Lyft's offering is widely expected to come in early 2019.

Lyft has officially filed paperwork with the top US stock market regulator to go public, the ride-hailing giant announced Thursday morning.

The confidential draft registration statement, submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, is the first step to an initial public offering, or IPO, for Lyft.

It's a big step in what's largely considered to be a race to go public between Lyft and its much larger rival Uber. The latter is also considering an IPO next year, but has been coy about the timing of its float. 

Lyft did not elaborate on pricing, number of shares, or targeted valuation. Those specifics will come after the SEC completes its review. The actual offering will likely come in early 2019. The company was most recently valued at $15 billion, and a public offering could boost that number.

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A Lyft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. 

The company began lining up banks as recently as October, with Credit Suisse assisting with the deal. Other firms reported to be involved are JPMorgan and Jefferies. 

Not content with its roughly 35% market share in the US, Lyft has also been branching beyond traditional ride-hailing as it seeks further growth. Last week, it's acquisition of Motivate, the country's largest bike share operator, officially closed. The purchase adds bikes and scooters in most major cities to its arsenal, now known as Lyft Bikes.

Uber, still far-and-away the largest ride-hailing company in the world, is also working towards an IPO next year. It's potential valuation could easily overshadow Lyft's offering, with a reported target of $120 billion.

Unlike Lyft, Uber has self-reported quarterly financials. Most recently, those numbers showed slowing growth and widening losses for the company. 

This story is developing...

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