Lyft valued at US$24.3b in first ride-hailing IPO

Lyft shares pop 21 percent at start of IPO

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Lyft raised $2.34 billion its IPO.

"The ridesharing industry has become one of the most transformational growth sectors of the United States consumer market over the past five years, with Lyft establishing itself as a clear #2 player behind the worldwide leader Uber", said analysts at Wedbush Securities on Thursday, who initiated coverage of Lyft with a price target of $80 within a year.

Investors embraced Lyft despite racking up $3 billion in losses since its 2012 inception on the premise that its growing popularity will pay off in the long run.

Lyft's co-founders incorporated the company in 2007 under the moniker Bounder Web, which was changed to Zimride in 2008. "Business results and societal impact are not only linked, but they can and do feed off each other".

From its earliest days, Uber aggressively outraised Lyft by billions of dollars, employing tactics such as prohibiting prospective investors who reviewed Uber's financial data from investing in the smaller competitor. The investments will include free or discounted rides for medical patients and low-income seniors and developing infrastructure for bikes, scooters and transit.

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Investors were seen leaving the presentations with enthusiasm and pink Lyft prospectuses.

Since 2012, Lyft has racked up $3 billion in debt, although recent growth has surged - the San Francisco-based company saw its revenue double to $2.2 billion a year ago from 2017.

In its S-1 filing earlier this month, Lyft said it controlled 39 percent of the USA ridehailing market in 2018, up 17 percent since 2016.

As reported by CBS, Lyft was aiming for an initial price of $72 per share. It is, essentially, the only app around for ride-hailing in the capital.

Even so, Lyft's revenue per ride has been increasing, so some analysts see the company as headed in the right direction.

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"Our mission is to improve people lives with the world's best transportation, and today we are taking Lyft public", said Co-founder and Co-CEO John Zimmer.

Lyft's business is built on the premise that having a auto is expensive and as more people move into urban areas, they are shifting away from owning a vehicle to using services to get around. If Uber's filing offers more details than Lyft, Lyft could find itself in an awkward spot.

"It will be years before they turn a profit".

And it's not just tech companies.

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