Economy

Uber officially files paperwork for IPO, ending months of speculation

Uber officially files paperwork for IPO, ending months of speculation

Uber's float will be the largest since Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce conglomerate, listed on the Nasdaq exchange in 2014, raising a record $25 billion.

Prior to Lyft going public, Pinterest had been weighing a valuation at or near the last fundraising round, according to a source familiar with the matter. But Lyft's shares have fallen starkly since opening at $US72 in late March, closing at just over $US61 on Wednesday, raising some investor concerns about the sustainability of the ride-hailing model. Lyft shares had been priced at a range of US$62 to US$68. The company, as it has disclosed before, generated more than $11 billion in net revenue last year, a 42 percent growth rate from the year before - although it's noteworthy that the rate slowed to 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 69 percent in the first quarter of the year. There are maps showing Uber's market share by country, a disclosure of tips paid to Uber drivers (a cumulative $1.2 billion) and a metric for Uber's "monthly active platform consumers", or the average number of people who take a auto ride, rent an Uber scooter or bicycle or get a meal delivered from Uber Eats at least once in a given month.

But Uber's growth was slowed by a raft of scandals beginning in 2016 that ultimately led to the ouster of its CEO, Travis Kalanick.

The company is on track to price its IPO and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in early May.

The massive filing shows Uber has been generating the robust revenue growth that entices investors, but also racked up almost $8 billion in losses over its 10 years in existence, which mirrors the same trend challenging Lyft, Uber's main rival in the U.S.

Its number of monthly users, who turn to Uber for not only rides but also services like food delivery, was 91 million in 2018, up 34per cent from a year earlier. I'm not sure I've ever read a more sprawling IPO document, which reflects Uber's sprawl.

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After making the public filing, Uber will begin a series of investor presentations, called a roadshow, which Reuters has reported will start the week of April 29.

Uber released its initial public offering Thursday ahead of a public listing that experts say could set records.

The blowback from the problems helped Lyft pick up ground in the USA - something Uber acknowledged in its filing - and led to the ouster of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in 2017.

Uber said in its filing its ridehailing position in the United States and Canada was "significantly impacted by adverse publicity events" and that its position in many markets has been threatened by discounts from other ride-hailing companies.

"With Uber, investors will soon have a second option to make a bet on the future of mobility and transportation with the clear market share leader, while competitor focus will likely also zero in on Waymo/Google and even the traditional auto sector which is investing in autonomous vehicles in its own right", the firm added.

Uber is reserving some shares in the IPO for drivers who have completed 2,500 trips among other criteria.