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Lyft beats bigger rival Uber in filing for IPO


By Aparajita Saxena

(Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Inc beat bigger rival Technologies in filing for an that will test investor appetite for high-profile but companies.

The company, which was last valued at about $15 billion, did not specify the number of shares it was selling or the price range for the offering in a confidential filing with the on Thursday.

The IPO is slated for the first half of 2019, sources have told is expected to pursue an IPO next year that could value it at about $120 billion, while home-renting company Airbnb Inc, valued at $31 billion, is also seen listing in 2019.

High-profile tech unicorns such as and dominated the U.S. IPO landscape this year, but the recent turmoil in financial markets due to escalating trade tensions between the and could dampen enthusiasm for offerings from and

Investors fear that stock market weakness could result in reduced interest in their road shows or fail to fetch them a reasonable valuation.

"Market declines mean that the offer price will be lower than otherwise. But there's a danger of waiting to go public as well - markets could go even lower, and the companies could raise less money if they waited longer," said Jay Ritter, an IPO expert and at the

Uber and Lyft's IPOs are widely seen as a litmus test for investor tolerance for lack of profitability when it comes to

The two companies have taken hits to their bottom lines in order to attract drivers and enter new markets, although they have made strides in recent years in narrowing their losses.

"The 'cab-hailing-system' has been antiquated and left as a dinosaur of yester-years. The good for ride-sharing is that it's a market that has shown to be penetrable," said Jeff Zell, and partner at IPO Boutique in

"With autonomous cars on the horizon, it is anyone's guess where this sector goes in the future. But Uber and Lyft, as name-brand leaders, are leading the race and will have the war-chest to be major players for years to come."

Lyft's IPO is expected to commence after the SEC completes its review process, it said in a press release on Thursday.

reported in October that had chosen JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Jefferies as underwriters for its IPO.

The company was set up in 2012 by and Logan Green, three years after co-founded Uber.

(Reporting By in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 20:45 IST