Uber officially files for IPO

Uber reportedly plans to sell $10 billion worth of stock in an initial public offering in May.                  Getty Images

Uber reportedly plans to sell $10 billion worth of stock in an initial public offering in May. Getty Images

Uber said in its IPO document that people who take rides from the company and also use its restaurant delivery business did more trips than people who used just one of those services. It reportedly plans to sell about $10 billion worth of stock, which would make it one of the largest USA tech IPOs ever coming in at an anticipated $120 billion.

Uber intends to provide a price range for its shares by late April, and go public in May.

Uber's filing reveals that Uber had an average of 91 million monthly active users on its platform at the end of 2018. In 2017, its net loss totaled US$4 billion. Excluding those gains, plus other items, Uber lost US$1.8 billion for the year. It lost $3.3 billion previous year, excluding one-off gains, while Lyft lost $911 million for 2018.

Uber filed for its IPO in December with the US Securities and Exchange Commission during the same week as Lyft.

That still pales into comparison to the largest shareholder, SoftBank, which spearheaded the largest-ever equity transaction in a VC-backed startup with a roughly $9 billion deal with Uber and its investors.

The move comes after a lackluster market debut for Uber's U.S. rival Lyft, which has lost more than 10 percent of its value since its IPO last month.

As is the case for Lyft, Uber has so far been losing money.

Uber seems to have some better cost economics than Lyft, which operates only in North America and has about one-fifth of Uber's annual revenue. Uber Freight, meanwhile, has grown to over $125 million in revenue for the last quarter of 2018.

Many cities have experienced an explosion in usage of the Uber app, but not everyone has welcomed the invasion, least of all taxi drivers. But that stake had fallen to about 15.4% of the company as of the end of September past year, according to Uber's prospectus.

The blowback from the problems helped Lyft pick up ground in the US - something Uber acknowledged in its filing - and led to the ouster of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in 2017.

It's been a tumultuous journey for Uber to get to this point: regulatory fights, accusations of hacking and spying, sexual misconduct by top executives, allegations of harassment and gender discrimination, numerous lawsuits and fines, crimes committed by drivers (including a mass shooting), claims of stolen self-driving technology, and the ousting of the company's co-founder and CEO.

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