Uber To Launch US IPO In April: Reuters

According to a report published in the news agency Reuters, US based ride-hailing taxi app company Uber would be launching its much awaited initial public offering sometime in April this year. The report said that an investor roadshow, would be launched by it in April by Uber in addition to registering securities with US regulator the SEC.

The same process has already been completed by Uber’s US rival Lyft on March 1 and the IPO launch of the company would get completed by the end of this month.

They wanted to float on the stock market in 2018, both Uber and Lyft confidentially told the regulator, the report stated.

The most recent valuation of Uber, which started operating in 2009, in the private market was at $76bn. The company wants to obtain a valuation of $120 billion through the IPO.

However the company has been under pressure because of opposition from both private hire drivers as well as regulatory scrutiny in some markets.

There has also been legal action in the UK and the US against the ride-hailing taxi app company. The company has been alleged to be showing its drivers to be self-employed contractors instead of them being considered to be its employees that help the company to avoid a number of mandatory facilities it otherwise would have had to offer to the drivers.

In 2017, Uber faced a number of controversies and scandals which included claims of sexual harassment made by female employees, a series of data breaches, illegally using software in order to avoid government regulators, and forcing the resignation of its chief executive Travis Kalanick.

The string of controversies has helped Lyft to boost its profile as an alternative service in the US, say analysts. having started operations in 2012, initially Lyft was designed as a “safe” ride-sharing service in cities and it made use of Facebook profile information for authentication of both the drivers and users.

Lyft was recently valued at $15 billion and was ranked the number two ride-hailing company in the US. The company is hoping to achieve a market valuation of anything $20bn and $25bn in the IPO.

However, Lyft also offers bike and electric scooter-sharing services and is only operational in the US and Canada, unlike Uber which is a truly multinational company. Issues over pay and benefits have seen protests by drivers of Lyft in a number of US cities including Connecticut, Chicago, New York and Santa Monica.

Sine analysts believe that Lyft is not a good bet for investment even though it has managed to get the backing of some of the most high profile investors, which includes the likes of including Google owner Alphabet and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

And despite their rate of growth, both Uber and Lyft are still losing money and in recent years have been making heavy investments in the development of autonomous cars

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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