Ride-sharing juggernauts Uber and Lyft have both announced that they have filed confidential documents for their initial public offering, an event long awaited by the financial industry.
Lyft was trying to beat Uber to IPO, as the biggest ride-sharing company had planned to become a public company sometime next year. Lyft announced last week that it had filed IPO documents, hoping to get the first crack at the public markets and attracts investments before Uber. More than financial, it was a marketing strategy, showing the confidence of the company. However, Uber announced its filing on the same day. Uber has much more diversified revenue stream including food-delivery, trucking, bike-sharing, etc. operating around the world, while Lyft mainly operates ride-sharing service in the US.
Uber’s valuation in the latest private financing was $76 billion, and its expected value in the IPO is around $120 billion. The company lost $1.07 billion in the third quarter (Lyft, in comparison, lost $254 million in the same period) and is struggling with slowing growth, although its gross bookings, at $12.7 billion, reflect the company’s huge scale. Its revenue for the quarter was $2.95 billion, a 5% boost from the previous quarter. Lyft’s valuation hovers between $18 and $30 billion.
Waymo launches first phase of commercial self-driving taxi service
Waymo has launched the first phase of its commercial self-driving ride-hailing service in Arizona. Only a limited number of people will have access to the service called Waymo One and safety drivers will be present in the autonomous vehicles. The cars are available 24/7 in the Phoenix area.
Waymo will also continue its existing rider pilot program. Unlike Waymo One, however, users of the rider program are required to provide feedback to the company.
Luxembourg becomes the first country with free public transportation
Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all of the public transportation free. All fares on trains, trams, and buses will be lifted next summer. The small Grand Duchy suffers from the worst traffic congestions. While only 110,000 people live in the capital, more than 400,000 commute to the city for work.
The country already had been working towards making public transportation more available to the population. This summer, the government made all public transport free to children and young persons under the age of 20.
Uber shatters car rental program
Uber has shut down its Uber Rent program, which allowed users to rent a car from the app. The service was a partnership between Uber and peer-to-peer car rental company Getaround. The program was abruptly shut down, with users receiving notification about the discontinuation of the service one day before the shutdown. The official statement defined the reason for shutdown as a chance for the company to “think through the best way to offer Uber customers access to rentals in the Uber app”. The program that allows drivers to rent cars from Uber (also in partnership with Getaround) for $5 an hour will continue to operate.