The second largest American ride hailing company is close to hiring an advisory firm for a public offering, sources say. As Fred Katayama reports, it could go public ahead of Uber.
Lyft could beat Uber on the road to an IPO. Reuters has learned the second largest American ride hailing company is close to hiring an advisory firm for an initial public offering. That's the first step toward a public listing. Sources say Lyft's IPO could come as early as next year. Lyft would not comment. Lyft's prep work comes as archrival Uber is enmeshed in a string of scandals. Its new CEO hopes to take his company public in 18 to 36 months. Uber was valued at $68 billion in its last funding round - nine times more than Lyft. IPO Financial Network president David Menlow said, "Depending on how it does, a Lyft IPO would potentially pave the way for Uber to come public, but the risk is it could end up closing the door for Uber for some time." Big investment banks could face a dilemma in choosing which one to underwrite. Aligning itself with Lyft could shut the bank out from a much bigger IPO by Uber. Many iconic startups have recently opted to remain private after seeing some IPO duds. Shares of Snapchat owner Snap and meal kit provider Blue Apron have underperformed since going public.