Lyft invites bank pitches for underwriting 2019 IPO

A Lyft Inc. decal is displayed on a car window in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Lyft Inc., the second-largest U.S. ride-hailing company, has asked banks to submit formal pitches to underwrite an initial public offering next year, people familiar with the matter said.

Evaluating IPO bankers and issuing formal underwriter mandates is the next step in what could be the first of several listings by ride-hailing businesses. Lyft is targeting March or April for the offering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Larger rival Uber Technologies Inc. has said it too is aiming to list next year.

San Francisco-based Lyft has been working with IPO adviser Class V Group LLC to help steer decisions involving the listing process, including hiring bankers, people familiar with the matter said in August.

A Lyft representative declined to comment.

Being the first of the two ride-hailing giants to move toward an IPO may help in hiring bankers. Firms that underwrite the deal of one company can’t also underwrite its direct competitors because of potential conflicts of interest. If Uber goes first, some firms may become unavailable to Lyft.

In most IPOs, investors considering whether to buy the shares compare the valuation, operations and financials to publicly traded peers. If Lyft does beat its peers to a listing, it will set expectations for other ride-hailing companies seeking to go public. Also, potential Lyft investors won’t have the same level of detail to measure its performance against Uber, which is also based in San Francisco.

China’s Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing business backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Apple Inc., and Singapore’s Grab both continue to expand in Asia as privately held companies.

Lyft was valued at $15.1 billion in a private funding round announced in June. The company raised $600 million in a round led by Fidelity Management & Research Co.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.