Lyft Shares Soar on Nasdaq Debut After IPO

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They were able to sell 32.5 million shares at $72 a piece, raising $2.34 billion from investors making the company's total value at around $24 billion.

TAKING A RIDE: Lyft's market debut marked the first time a US ride-hailing company was selling shares to the public. The next test will be to see how the stock performs when it begins trading later Friday morning. Its co-founder, Ben Horowitz, sits on Lyft's board. "In those early days we were told we were insane to think people would ride in each others' personal vehicles".

"The strikes called on Monday by Rideshare Drivers United (RDU) in Southern California and Gig Workers Rising in San Francisco are a sign of the deep frustration many ride-share drivers feel", the author writes. On Friday it started trading at $87.24 on Nasdaq under the ticker LYFT.

The ride-hailing platform Lyft goes public today ahead of Uber, which is expected to list in the coming weeks.

With about 48 hours to go before the IPO, Lyft raised its expected share price to anywhere from $70 to $72 in an SEC filing. Green and Zimmer are looking forward to autonomous cars, global growth, insurance, and even changing the future of vehicle ownership.

"Without question, investors are looking beyond operating losses to the potential upside", in the ride-hailing industry, said Alejandro Ortiz, an analyst for SharesPost.

"Lyft is shooting itself in the foot by going public, as I continue to think that the company is not ready for the harsh glare of the public market and it is giving away a big edge that it could have had over Uber", Windsor writes.

All eyes were on Lyft Friday morning as investors rushed to get a piece of the first big USA technology listing of the year. "Business results and societal impact are not only linked, but they can and do feed off each other".

Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer speaks at a Leaders in Technology dinner during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2018.

It intends to do some good with its money-announcing that it plans "to invest the greater of 1% of our profits or $50 million annually toward our social impact efforts".

The IPO represents a watershed moment for ride hailing, an industry hatched from the rise of smartphones.

Unlike Uber, which has developed its own self-driving division, Lyft has chosen to strike partnerships to expand in the sector, including with auto parts suppliers Magna International Inc and Aptiv Plc.

Interestingly, Tech Crunch notes that Lyft has the largest net losses of any pre-IPO business, posting losses of $911 million on revenues of $2.2 billion a year ago. Others tech companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, Postmates, and more are also readying to go public. Lyft drivers, meanwhile, "definitely aren't getting rich", Quartz noted.

Despite no near-term profitability in sight for Lyft, its IPO received an overwhelming response. "Right now they both have the chance to become that, and the next decade as publicly-traded companies will help determine who does".

Cutting costs by reducing pay to drivers also could prove hard, a challenge underscored by protests staged earlier this week over wages that drivers complain already are too low.

"This is a company that has negative cash flow, and but it's spending to juice revenue". The company also faces a slew of arbitration claims and lawsuits from drivers who claim they are misclassified as independent contractors and owed back wages and reimbursement for expenses.

The Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm led a $60 million investment round in Lyft in 2013 and invested more capital the following year.

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