Uber planning to launch IPO in April

Kenny Grant
March 17, 2019

The company will release its public disclosure next month and launch an investor roadshow, the sources said. Those events will set in motion the Wall Street debut of one of Silicon Valley's most closely watched companies. The investment would reportedly be specifically in Uber's self-driving technology department, and comes as Uber is heading towards an initial public offering of stock. Uber and SoftBank declined to comment.

But the close proximity of the two IPOs could test the public market's appetite for ride-sharing investments.

Talking point: The move would shore up Uber's self-driving unit ahead of its IPO, which is expected this year.

Lyft, a smaller firm which has ride-hailing and bike-renting in the United States and several Canadian cities, is seeking a valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion, up from its $15 billion valuation as a private company. Lyft, by contrast, said in its prospectus that its 2018 revenue totaled $2.2 billion and a loss of $911 million, which according to Axios would be the largest loss ever for a company entering the public markets for the first time.

Uber, which past year lost about $3.3 billion, is betting on a transition to self-driving cars to eliminate the need to pay drivers. But the company lost $US3.3 billion, excluding gains from the sale of its overseas business units in Russian Federation and Southeast Asia.

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Lyft's revenue for past year was $2.2 billion, with $8.1 billion in gross ride bookings.

Waymo said this month that it would sell a key innovation to companies that don't compete with its autonomous cars. In the case of Uber and Lyft, however, many large institutional investors already have access to the companies through participation in private rounds of investment.

It could also help underscore Uber's value as the ride-hailing firm prepares for a stock market debut.

SoftBank Group Corp and Toyota Motor Corp are said to be in a discussion of investing $1 billion or more into the self-driving unit of Uber Technologies Inc., raising the value of the unit to $10 billion from $5 billion.

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