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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Lyft allowed a group of select drivers to purchase shares in its recent IPO, but it might not have been the jackpot some had hoped for.

The bottom line: Drivers didn't face a lock-up period, but Lyft shares have mostly traded below their IPO price.

  • Lyft priced its IPO at $72 per share and opened at $87.24 per share. But it soon broke below the IPO price, briefly rebounded, and has since sunk consistently since. It opened trading today at $56.50.

Some opted to buy shares, like Jay Cradeur, a Lyft driver who qualified for the $1,000 cash bonus and purchased 13 shares. He ultimately sold his stake for a small profit at $75 a piece. But it got dodgy when the stock tumbled to $67 in its second day of trading, with Cradeur even setting up a stop-loss at $60. Another driver who commented on Cradeur’s post on the Rideshare Guy’s blog said he sold his at $83.55 a share for a $145 profit.

Others decided not to. Carlo Garibay, another longtime Lyft driver who told the San Francisco Chronicle last month that he would purchase IPO shares, tells Axios that he instead used his cash bonus to pay off bills; adding that he knows other drivers who invested and “got burnt.”

  • Lyft gave out cash bonuses to some longtime drivers who were just shy of the 10,000 ride requirement, but did not let them use it to buy into the IPO. This might have been a blessing in disguise.

What’s next: Uber will have a similar program to let drivers purchase IPO shares when it lists next month.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.