Uber files confidentially for IPO

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Two days after Lyft submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an early 2019 initial public offering, Uber has done the same, per The Wall Street Journal.

The company filed confidentially for an IPO on Friday, marking the beginning of a race for the two ride-hailing giants to the stock markets.

Uber’s most recent private market valuation was a whopping $72 billion, though the nearly 10-year-old business reportedly expects Wall Street to value it at as much as $120 billion in what will easily be one of the most highly-anticipated IPOs of the decade.

Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick, Uber has raised a total of nearly $20 billion in a combination of debt and equity funding, according to PitchBook. SoftBank alone has invested billions in the company to become its largest shareholder. Uber’s other key backers are Toyota, which invested $500 million just a few months ago, as well as late-stage investors T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and TPG Growth.

First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital and others stand to earn big from Uber’s exit — all were participants in some of the company’s earliest venture capital rounds.

The filing comes slightly earlier than expected. Uber’s current chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi previously said he expected the company to complete an IPO in mid-2019 but today’s news puts Uber on pace to debut in the first quarter of next year.

“[Uber] has all the disadvantage of being a public company, with the spotlight on us, with none of the advantages,” Khosrowshahi said on stage at the New York Times’ Dealbook conference in 2017.

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Uber shared its third quarter financial results recently, with net losses up 32 percent quarter-over-quarter to $939 million on a pro forma basis. On an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) basis, Uber’s losses were $527 million, up about 21 percent QoQ. The company said revenue was up five percent QoQ at $2.95 billion and up 38 percent increase year-over-year.

It appears Uber’s IPO timeline was pushed forward following reports of Lyft’s confidential IPO paperwork. Lyft, Uber’s largest competitor in the U.S., will likely take the plunge in the first quarter of 2019, too. The company was most recently valued at about $15 billion. Its IPO will be underwritten by JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse Jeffries.

2019 will be a fascinating year for unicorn exits with a separate report out today that Slack is also prepping its IPO and has hired Goldman Sachs to underwrite its offering. Lyft, Uber and Slack alone are worth an aggregate valuation of $94 billion, which means 2019 will undoubtedly bring some much-needed liquidity to a slew of tech investors.

Source: TechCrunch

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