Uber is about to make its debut, with expectations mounting for the company to file for IPO as early as today.
Reports say the ride-sharing company plans to raise $10 billion at a valuation near $100 billion. If the numbers hold up, Uber's IPO would be among the largest in history.
While the giant has long prioritized growth over profit, there's no denying that the number it's now targeting is far below the $120 billion valuation bankers, just last year, said the company could command.
Why is Uber erring toward more modest ambitions?
The decrease could be a course-correction after a lackluster performance from competitor Lyft, whose shares closed Wednesday about $12 below their $72/share IPO price. But it could also be an acknowledgment of Uber's slowing growth: In February, it announced $3 billion in revenue for Q4 2018, along with $865 million in losses, and marked its slowest growth rate for the year.
Regardless of the reason, investors (and everyone else) are eagerly awaiting the chance to more closely compare the competitors. The two took different approaches to growth—Lyft focusing solely on consumer transport and Uber branching out with food delivery and more—but both have remained deeply unprofitable. Their side-by-side will come down to a few key factors, like driver pay and market share, among others.
"Contribution margins, a measure that’s meant to show which businesses can operate profitably, will be one tool provided for digging through its spreadsheets," write Eric Newcomer and Olivia Zaleski for Bloomberg. "Uber calculates its contribution margin by tacking on more costs than Lyft does, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Uber’s more conservative metric may give investors a better sense of its business, even if it makes direct comparisons with Lyft more difficult."
By being the first to go public, Lyft may have gotten the benefit of the doubt from investors, but by following behind them, Uber has another chance to triumph.
10 Machine Learning & AI startups hiring the most
The demand for AI & Machine Learning is exploding—from the startups advancing it to the job-seekers chasing it to the growing tech community watching its every move.
As crypto markets plunged in 2018, AI & Machine Learning became the most sought-after industry by top job-seekers on AngelList. Ready to make a move, but not sure where to begin?
We took a global snapshot of all AI & Machine Learning startups hiring on AngelList and analyzed a standard set of inputs, including:
Jobs: How many jobs each startup has posted on AngelList
Outreach: How many job-seekers each startup has contacted
Conversion: How many job-seekers responded to each startup
Applications: How many job-seekers applied to each startup
Hires: How many hires each startup has made through AngelList