Sunday 17 March 2019 5:51 pm

Lyft set to court investors ahead of Wall St float

Ride-hailing platform Lyft is launch its investor roadshow today, ahead of the company’s upcoming debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm is seeking to raise as much as $2bn (£1.5bn) and be valued at more than $20bn, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Lyft will be meeting with investors across the US before it finalises pricing for its initial public offering (IPO), which could go live before the end of this month.

Read more: Lyft files for IPO ahead of rival Uber

The firm is said to be heading out on a charm offensive to convince investors to back its own IPO, rather than wait for that of its larger rival Uber later this year.

Lyft will sell itself as the more focused alternative to Uber in the ride-hailing industry, the latter of which has diversified to include food delivery, freight haulage and expansion outside of the US.

Uber is said to be seeking a valuation of as much as $120bn when it lists this year, though some analysts believe it will land closer to $100bn.

Neither of the firms have reached profitablity. Early financial numbers showed Lyft lost $911m on $2.2bn in revenue last year, an increase of 32 per cent from 2017.

Read more: Uber narrows losses to $1.8bn in 2018 but revenue growth slows ahead of IPO

However Lyft said it had clawed further market share from Uber in 2018, rising 17 percentage points over two years to reach 39 per cent of the US ride-hailing sector.

Japanese firm Rakuten is Lyft’s largest institutional stakeholder with 13 per cent ownership, followed by General Motors’ 7.8 per cent stake and Fidelity’s 7.7 per cent. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz owns 6.3 per cent, while Google parent Alphabet owns 5.3 per cent.

Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lyft’s IPO will be the first among a string of tech companies heading to Wall Street this year, with others including workplace messaging app Slack and social media site Pinterest.