Ending months of speculations, ride-hailing service Lyft filed for public listing on Thursday. The San Francisco-based company, which competes with bigger rival Uber, has submitted the paperworks confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Markets have been highly speculative on which of the two would be first to go public and when. The IPO is highly significant as it would give a rough sketch on investor interest in the sector, which is highly popular and yet hitherto unprofitable.
Lyft has neither stated the number of shares it plans to float nor the expected offer price in its filing, though it is estimated that the valuation will be between $20 billion and $30 billion, Reuters reported citing an unidentified source.
The company, which was last valued at $15 billion, is likely to start trading in the first quarter of next year. On the other hand, rival Uber is also reportedly speeding up its formalities for public listing and might file for IPO sometime in the first half of 2019.
Though both companies are yet to report profits, Lyft has been growing at a faster pace than Uber, which has been plagued by a slew of scandals.
The filing comes at a time when stock markets are going through a turmoil caused by the unamicable relationship between the US and China. This means the offer price may actually be lower than what would be during stable markets, presenting a better buying opportunity for investors.
Both companies are using up investments to test waters in the autonomous vehicle industry. Uber had halted its testing of autonomous vehicles after it mowed down a pedestrian in Arizona eight months back. Uber is currently planning a toned-down version of testing in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, Lyft had recently acquired London-based technology start-up Blue Vision Labs, to boost its own self-drive ambitions.