Over the last few years, Uber and Lyft have torn through round after round of funding, growing to $120 billion and $15 billion valuations respectively. The lingering question has always been: When will they IPO?
Now, we finally have an answer.
Lyft announced this morning that it confidentially filed an S-1 with the SEC, meaning the ridesharing giant is pursuing a 2019 IPO. According to the Wall Street Journal, the IPO is expected in the spring. While Uber still has not officially filed, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said the company is considering a 2019 offering.
The question now is: What are the upsides for Lyft?
Both Uber and Lyft have yet to post a profit—even after Lyft was able to double revenues in the first half of 2018. It's possible that, as the first ridesharing company to IPO, Lyft will get the benefit of the doubt from investors because there are no other publicly traded ridesharing companies to benchmark it by. As a result, Lyft's stock price could climb beyond expectation—even if Lyft continues to post losses. There are already rumblings that the company's valuation will exceed $15 billion by the time it goes public, signaling a good return for investors.
If everything plays out well for Lyft, which is three years younger than Uber, the company could see its stock ride a wave of investor optimism. At the same time, the current volatility of the market, combined with uncertainty around Lyft's potential for profitability, could result in a lackluster showing, which would be a great gift to rival Uber.
But regardless of how Lyft's IPO plays out, all signs point to 2019 being the year of breakout tech IPOs. It will be fun to see how these mammoth exits shake up the industry.
The future of VR
Philip Rosedale and the team at High Fidelity are creating free and open-source software that enables real-time, social VR. Some of you may also know Rosedale as the creator of Second Life, the iconic “internet-scale virtual world.”
In the latest episode of Product Hunt Radio, he covers the most advanced uses of VR today—like school children being able to take a virtual field trip into an Egyptian tomb—and where VR is headed in the future.
“If I can go to school on a virtual planet where there are kids from all over the whole world," he says, "look at the human impact of that versus me going to school with only the kids that are within 10 blocks of my house. There’s a homogeneity to local places that is going to get completely turned off with VR.”