Picture: GABBY JONES/BLOOMBERG
Picture: GABBY JONES/BLOOMBERG

San Francisco — Lyft is seeking to raise as much as $2.1bn in its initial public offering, valuing the firm at almost $20bn.

The number two US ride-hailing giant is offering 30.8-million shares at $62-$68 each, it said in a regulatory filing Monday. At the top of that range and including a potential over-allotment of shares to investors the market valuation would reach $19.6bn, based on the total numbers of shares outstanding after the IPO as detailed in the filing.

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 in 2019 after the partial US government shutdown put a damper on first-quarter listings.

Including the money Lyft is expecting to raise from the IPO as well as some likely dilution of shares, the total valuation of the company could be $21bn-$23bn, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lyft had earlier been aiming for a valuation of $20bn-$25bn.

The filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) puts Lyft further ahead in its race to go public with Uber, 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 people familiar with the matter. Smaller startups including Postmates and Slack are also considering listings.

Uber could be valued at as much as $120bn in an IPO, people familiar with its plans 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 JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse Jefferies Financial Group, with more than two dozen other banks participating. Lyft has applied to list shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LYFT.”

Bloomberg