Lyft raises $2.3billion, shares priced at top of range

30 March, 2019, 22:10 | Author: Mary Valdez
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Lyft raised $2.34 billion its IPO.

On Thursday, Lyft priced 32.5 million shares, slightly more that it was offering originally, at $72, the top of its already elevated $70-$72 per share target range, raising $2.34 billion in its initial public offering.

Lyft had little trouble getting investors to hop on board its increasingly popular ride-hailing service, as its initial public offering fetched a $72 USA per-share price that exceeded even its own expectations. Documents show revenues grew sharply from just $343 million in 2016, but losses widened as well.

It remains to be seen whether or not this strike (which is relatively small in scale) will finally lead to Lyft giving drivers those benefits, but so far, it doesn't seem to have had much of an impact. More than 71 million shares changed hands as investors sought out or sold shares in the stock market.

Despite the optimism, there are also mounting concerns that these tech IPOs may be coming at the peak of the market, when the benchmark S&P 500 Index has risen more than 200 percent since 2008. "One question is the pathway to profitability and timeline - unclear", noted GlobalData in a release.

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Lyft has focused on its mission of getting people to give up their personal cars in favor of ride-hailing, shared bikes and scooters, and has remained in North America.

"In those early days we were told we were insane to think people would ride in each others' personal vehicles", said Green, who is also the CEO. Developing autonomous vehicles is key to reducing driver costs, and Lyft is behind competitors such as Google spin-off Waymo, which has begun testing a ride-hailing service using its robotic minivans in the Phoenix area.

The IPO market had a slow start in 2019 due to volatile markets at the end of previous year and the government shutdown in January blocking USA regulators from processing new IPO applicants.

The company's stock rose from a starting price of $72 each to $87.24, valuing Lyft at $28.2bn. "But I would say price is the main factor", said John Nickele, who owns a bicycle in San Francisco and spends about $30 a week on Lyft and Uber.

Uncertainties notwithstanding, the Lyft IPO clearly represents a watershed moment for the mobility sector and a maturing generation of tech start-ups. Expect plenty of drama, from insane highs to deep disappointments, and all kinds of craziness in between featuring some of Silicon Valley's biggest unicorns such as Uber, Slack, Postmates, and Pinterest.



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