Lyft, in IPO filing, discloses 2018 loss of $911 million

Drivers can be owners too.                  Getty Images

Drivers can be owners too. Getty Images

San Francisco-based Lyft posted a net loss of US$911 million on revenue of US$2.2 billion for 2018, according to Friday's filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. The bonuses will range from US$1,000 to US$10,000 for drivers in good standing.

Lyft was valued at just over $15 billion past year.

They would then be able to use the money to buy shares at the initial offer price in the company's IPO widely expected to happen this year, the Journal quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.

However, losses have widened from $682.8m in 2016 to $688.3m the year after and $911.3m in the last 12 months. "Uber's got a bigger market share in the United States but Lyft's market share has been growing and additional publicity for Lyft is going to help it".

Current Lyft drivers who have completed at least 10,000 rides by February 25, 2019; and drivers who have served on the Driver Advisory Council are eligible to receive Class A common stock.

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Lyft, the ride-hailing company, has revealed that it is yet to make a profit ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) which could value the firm at between $20bn and $25bn. Fees charged to Uber and Lyft increased about $230,000, up 85%, in the six months ended December 31, 2018, over the same period in the prior year, while vehicle rental fees bought in an extra $530,000, up 13.4%, and parking revenue was little changed. Uber has been working to fix its image under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. The company said it would give cash bonuses that could be converted into stock to drivers who have a minimum level of activity on the platform. Revenue had skyrocketed more than 200 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016, when the company brought in $343.3 million.

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing auto in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. The IPO will be an acid test of how investors react to much-touted ride-hailing startups. Lyft is only in 300 cities in the US and Canada, but has expanded to offer scooter and bike rentals.

The next step is for Lyft managers to go on the road to woo investors, presenting details and fielding questions from potential buyers in hopes of drumming up interest. Its IPO could come as soon as early April. "On its upcoming roadshow, public equity investors would have a lot of tough questions for Lyft's management on this topic".

The company conceded that it has lost money since it started in mid-2012 and its expenses are increasing as it launches new services.

Lyft expects investors will focus on the rapid expansion of the company's revenue, bookings, and market share rather than its operating losses. Revenue from Lyft's scooter business was also not material. Serving only North America, the company's revenue mostly comes from ride-hailing and the company will seek to expand geographically and pursue acquisitions.

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