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Uber confidentially files for an IPO at the same time as rival Lyft

Sindhu Kashyap
8th Dec 2018
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After talks of its much-awaited IPO, Uber, the San-Francisco based ride-hailing giant, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO). This is possibly one of the most-watched for IPOs of any of the valley-based company.

With a view to prep for the IPO, in August, Uber had hired Nelson J Chai as the CFO of the company. Uber has not had a finance head since 2015, when then CFO Brent Callinicos left the company.

What is interesting is that Uber's US rival - Lyft too filed for an IPO on Thursday. This move is in line with the battling companies launching services and matching each of their services. Valued at $76 billion, reports suggest that this filing makes it one of the biggest technology listings ever. In the case of an IPO, Uber's valuation will touch a whooping $120 billion.

For over two years now, Uber has been hoping to enter an IPO, and has been working in line for the same. Unfortunately, the company had a 'hellish' year in 2017. When Dara Khosrowshahi took over the reins of the San Francisco-based company on August 28 last year, everyone wondered whether the transportation network company would see a turnaround.

Uber has been one of the best-known startups in the world, and reportedly commands 77 percent of the market share in the US. It has a strong presence in over 80 countries, and according to Harvard Business Review (HBR), is still sitting on a massive cash pile from its last financing round. HBR calls it one of the most-valued unicorns in the history of business.

Uber
Dara Khosrowshahi driving an Uber

However, Uber's IPO brings a positive push that it may open up public debuts of highly valued companies like Slack and Airbnb. Over the year, Uber has been working towards an IPO. Investors are also looking for an exit from the ride-hailing unicorn. The platform has already consolidated its Southeast Asian business to the Indonesian Grab. Uber has raised a whopping $18 billion from investors since 2010.

But, Uber still has a lot of legal battles to fight, especially in line with its self-driving vehicle business. This move will test the public market's risk appetite for the cab aggregator business, which while popular, is still loss-making. Uber has reportedly lost $1.07 billion, and this quarter made a revenue of $2.95 billion.

For now, all eyes are on Dara, and the upcoming IPO.

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