Lyft valued at $34.3b in first ride-hailing IPO

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"There's a lot of capital waiting to get invested, and that certainly helps Lyft to raise the target price", said Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president of Constellation Research Inc.

Lyft Inc was valued at US$24.3 billion (RM99.1 billion) in the first initial public offering (IPO) of a ride-hailing startup yesterday, raising more than it had set off to do as investors overlooked uncertainty over its path to becoming a profitable company. Yesterday, while interacting with CNBC at an event organized by The Gatehouse in Texas, Buffett responded to a question about Lyft IPO, saying, "I think buying new offerings during hot periods in the market ..."

At the upper end of the new range, Lyft would have a market capitalization of $20.45 billion, a little larger than Snap Inc when it went public in 2017.

Lyft says it has a 39% share of the ride sharing market in the USA, up from 22% in 2016 but still below Uber which is still the industry's biggest player.

Lyft said in a statement that it priced 32.5 million shares Thursday at US$72 each.

Hiroshi "Mickey" Mikitani's e-commerce group Rakuten Inc. owns $2.7 billion of the class A shares.

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"This IPO is a "watershed" event for the tech sector as well as the ride-sharing industry that in our opinion has become one of the most transformational growth sectors of the USA consumer market over the past five years", Wedbush Securities analysts said in a note ahead of the IPO, adding that Lyft is now the "clear #2 player" behind Uber in the ride-sharing sector.

Lyft's performance will also serve as a benchmark for a number of other big tech companies eyeing IPOs, including arch-rival Uber, social media company Pinterest and messaging software provider Slack.

And it's not just tech companies.

Lyft is officially a public company.

On Wednesday, Lyft filed to increase that range.

Demand for Lyft Inc. stock has lifted the value of the combined stake of its co-founders to $1.4 billion. It posted a loss of $911 million in 2018 versus $688 million in 2017.

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The company didn't give any preference when allocating shares to potential stockholders who weren't investors in Uber, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because it wasn't public.

Lyft made its much-anticipated trading debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange, jumping 21 percent to $87.24.

Altogether, more than two dozen banks were listed in the company's filing as participating in the offering.

Lyft's revenue was $2.16 billion for 2018, double the previous year's and far higher than $343 million in 2016.

"A roadshow being standing-room only is a pretty good indicator that investors are interested", Deloitte's Daniels said.

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