Lyft is growing quickly ahead of its initial public offering but continues to bleed money and may struggle to turn a profit as it tries to catch up to Uber in the booming ride-hailing market, according to a federal filing.
Its net loss in 2018 came to $911.3 million. Lyft had $517,690 in cash and equivalents at the end of a year ago, about half of what it had at the end of 2017. Lyft mentions it is a "visionary, founder-led company" and highlights its "Singular Focus on Transportation", a stark contrast to Uber, which has expanded its business to food delivery, freights and even on-demand staffing.
The company's IPO includes a dual-class stock structure, with one class of shareholders getting 20 votes per share and another getting just one vote per share.
In its S-1 filing, Lyft disclosed that the company recorded a net loss of $911 million in 2018, up by more than $200 million since 2016. After Lyft filed to go public Friday, we learned that like its competitor, ride-hailing executives also gave rides on its platform in the past two years.
Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, who founded the company in 2012, chimed in with their own "uplifting" comments in Friday's filing. Other drivers, depending on how many trips they have completed, can get cash rewards from $1,000 or $10,000 (for more than 20,000 rides), and choose to use the bonus to purchase shares through the company's directed share program.
The company said it's going after the $1.2 trillion that U.S. consumers spend on personal transportation every year.
On top of that, the airport took in $1.6 million in fees from Uber and Lyft previous year. In addition to ride-hailing, it offers shared auto, bike and scooter rides.
The next step is for Lyft managers to go on the road to woo investors, presenting details and fielding questions from potential buyers in hopes of drumming up interest.
"Lyft has clearly demonstrated progress along its pathway to profitability. but the key question is whether Lyft can accelerate its pathway to profitability", Kulkarni said. Smith added. "The longer the losses ... the less valuable the company will be".
Lyft also said it faces intense competition and could lose market share to competitors. Drivers who have served on the Driver Advisory Council, which provides driver feedback to the company, would also receive $1,000. Uber - as well as Waymo, General Motors and others - is working on self-driving vehicles, which they expect to enter the ride-hailing business.
In its early days, Lyft drivers decorated the grilles of their cars with pink moustaches to friendly vibe, and its drivers now display a logo in the windshield with a pink background.
Lyft is looking to raise as much as $100 million, and will be listed on the Nasdaq stock ticker as "LYFT", according to CNN.
Krisher reported from Detroit and Liedtke reported from San Francisco.