Lyft IPO Beats Uber to the Punch

The Lyft and Uber IPOs mark the next phase of growth for ride sharing

The Lyft and Uber IPOs mark the next phase of growth for ride sharing

The company's stock rose from a starting price of $72 each to $87.24, valuing Lyft at $28.2bn. It closed at $78.29, up 8.7 per cent, giving the company a $27 billion valuation.

Lyft says it will invest $50 million annually or 1 percent of profits in transportation initiatives in cities. The company has lured new riders and taken market share from Uber - and now it's beaten its larger rival in the race to sell shares to the public.

Thursday evening, Lyft raised about $2.3 billion before its debut on the NASDAQ.

"Nobody knew they (Lyft) would catch up to this level", said Navin Chaddha, a venture capitalist with Silicon Valley firm Mayfield, which invested in Lyft in 2011.

And when you consider that many investors do overlap in tech categories, such as ride-share apps, the likelihood of swaying potential Uber investors to Lyft increases.

The IPO represents a watershed moment for ride hailing, an industry hatched from the rise of smartphones.

"This is a pat on the back for ride hailing as a category", said Rohit Kulkarni, senior vice-president of research at Forge.

This year has already proven to be an exciting one where IPOs are concerned.

Lyft's branding as a warmer, more caring alternative to Uber dates back to its launch in 2012. The San Francisco-based company beat its larger ridehailing competitor Uber to the market.

That hasn't suppressed Wall Street's appetite for the ride-hailing stock as it went public on Friday. "By envisioning a world where cities feel like communities again, where transportation and technology bring people together, instead of pull them a part, Lyft believes in a future where public companies, civic leaders and grassroots organizations work together to for the greater good of our cities".

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"While profitability is key", said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, "we expect more driver incentives to be offered by Lyft over the next few years as the company need to expand its drivers and peak house in the United States, especially with Uber aggressively going after this market in major cities". Lyft is thought to debut on March 29 on Nasdaq while Uber is expected to kick off its IPO in April.

The ride-sharing service Lyft went public on Friday.

Co-founder Zimmer sounded upbeat.

Despite Lyft's recent inroads, there is still no guarantee the company will become profitable - a risk flagged in its own regulatory filings leading up to the IPO.

The competition has cost both companies, though. Autonomous vehicles and regulations also pose a threat.

Beyond solidarity for these specific actions, this employee also backs several of the proposals RDU is agitating for, including fair pay, transparency, an end to the contractor model that strips drivers of basic employee rights, and the ability to have a voice in the boardroom.

Lyft was able to appeal to stock buyers excited to own a piece of a fast-growing company grabbing at the giant pool of consumer spending on transport.

Lyft investors got a 21 percent pop when trading opened over the offer price of $72.

The following is a list of the biggest winners from the IPO.

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