The market has spoken, and the battle of the ride share apps has culminated in a runaway success for Lyft, as the company’s debut on the public market raised about $2.3 billion on Friday. The highly-anticipated initial public offering was fueled by a heavy appetite for the stock, exceeding analysts’ initial projections and selling over 32 million shares at $72 a piece. As trading began, stock prices briefly topped out at $87 a share, settling at around $80 a share by 2 p.m. EST.
The first of many “disruptive” tech companies anticipated to go public this year, Lyft beat competitor Uber to the punch despite filing for their IPO on the same December afternoon. Details released prior to the start of trading revealed lightning in a bottle for Lyft: its IPO prospectus revealed robust revenues despite posting big losses in 2018.
John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder and president, told CNBC on Friday morning that the company was excited, sharing “We’re ready to be held accountable. We’re excited … In our case, I think what we’ve seen in talking to investors [is] that more people are maybe surprised to see the numbers that we’re putting out and I think this is a great part of the process. For us this wasn’t the goal — this is a milestone along the way — but we feel like it helps us with additional access to capital.”
Still to be determined, though, is how the stock will perform when competitor Uber enters the public market in April. Similarly positioned disruptive tech companies also slated for the open market this year include Pinterest, Slack, and Postmates.
Lyft trades on the Nasdaq under the LYFT ticker symbol, and the lead underwriters for the debut are J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies.