Lyft beats rival Uber in race to file for IPO

It’s finally happening: Ride-hailing company Lyft is taking the long-anticipated step of going public.

The company beat its rival Uber in the race to a public offering on Thursday when it filed confidential paperwork for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s expected to be the first major tech IPO of 2019.

Lyft is expected to debut in a stock exchange in March or April, according to the Wall Street Journal. The IPO will be underwritten by JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, and Jeffries, reports Reuters.

The company did not specify the number of shares it plans to offer, and it also didn’t specify the price range of its shares, according to multiple reports citing people familiar with the matter. The offering will likely exceed the company’s $15.1 billion valuation announced in June.

Lyft’s arrival to public markets will be a major advantage for the company strategically. It will mark the first time the general public will be able to invest in one of the major ride-haling companies, which have grown exponentially over the past five years, but still manage to generate huge losses.

Still, Lyft has narrowed losses in recent years. Whether the investing public has an appetite for a shiny new loss-making tech behemoth amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China remains to be seen. But at least one thing is certain: Lyft will be leading the charge for young tech companies eyeing an IPO in 2019.

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