Ride hailer Lyft seeks $2.1bn in IPO

At the targeted range, the San Francisco-based company’s offering will be the biggest in the US from a tech start-up since Snap two years ago

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2013, file photo, a Lyft car crosses Market Street in San Francisco. A California law that allows Uber and Lyft drivers to have a single business license to drive anywhere in the state is depriving San Francisco of fees that could offset maintenance and traffic costs created by ride-hailing services, San Francisco officials said in a lawsuit filed on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, against the state. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Lyft is seeking to raise as much as $2.1 billion in its initial public offering, valuing the firm at up to $18.5bn.

The second-biggest US ride-hailing firm is offering 30.8 million shares at $62 to $68 each, it said in a regulatory filing Monday.

At the targeted range, the San Francisco-based company’s offering will be the biggest from a tech upstart since Snap went public two years ago, and the largest in the US so far this year after the partial US government shutdown put a damper on first-quarter listings. Lyft had earlier been aiming for a market valuation of $20bn to $25bn, a source said in February.

The filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission puts Lyft further ahead in its race to go public with Uber Technologies, the world’s biggest ride-hailing company. Uber has filed confidentially with the SEC and intends to make its listing plans public in April, according to sources. Smaller start-ups including Postmates and Slack Technologies are also considering listings.

Uber could be valued at as much as $120bn in an IPO, sources have said previously, likely making its offering one of the top five of all time.

Lyft warned in its filing that expenses are likely to increase and that it may not be able to “achieve or maintain profitability in the future”. While Uber is pursuing food and freight delivery, scooters, electric bikes and even flying cars, Lyft remains focused on transportation, including bikes and scooters.

The new filing spells out how much of Lyft will be controlled by co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer once the company is public. The two will be issued Class B shares, which will equal the voting rights of 20 ordinary shares.

The offering is being led by JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies Financial, with more than two dozen other banks participating. Lyft has applied to list shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LYFT”.