Mar 1, 2019

Lyft files for its IPO

Photo: Lyft

Ride-hailing company Lyft has filed to go public on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LYFT," according to an anticipated SEC filing.

Why it matters: Lyft is part of a cohort of large private Silicon Valley tech companies that have taken years to go public — and it's beaten rival Uber to the IPO punch.

By the numbers:

  • In 2018, Lyft says it had $8.1 billion in bookings, $2.2 billion in revenue, and more than 1 billion total rides. It had 30.7 million riders and 1.9 million drivers.
  • As expected, Lyft says it's not profitable. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Lyft's revenue was $343.3 million, $1.1 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively, but it had net losses of $682.8 million, $688.3 million and $911.3 million in each of those respective years.
  • As of Q4 2018, Lyft had 18.6 active riders.
  • Over two years—between Q4 2016 and Q4 2018—Lyft roughly doubled its revenue per rider, from $18.53 to $36.04, meaning that it's been able to get riders to take more rides while spending less on promotions, among other factors.
  • Its "revenue as percentage of bookings" (or what portion of Lyft rides Lyft gets to keep) has also grown over time, hitting 28.7% in Q4 2018.


  • Though Lyft founders John Zimmer and Logan Green each own a small portion of the company (3.09% and 4.13%, respectively as of Feb. 7), they will likely gain a greater share of voting rights thanks to a new class of shares that will give them 20 votes for each share. It's currently unclear if they'll have majority control or not.
  • In March 2018, Zimmer, Green and other stockholders sold $58.7 million worth of stock via a tender offer at $38.50 per share.

Autonomous driving:

In the next five years, our goal is to deploy an autonomous vehicle network that is capable of delivering a portion of rides on the Lyft platform. Within 10 years, our goal is to have deployed a low-cost, scaled autonomous vehicle network that is capable of delivering a majority of the rides on the Lyft platform. And, within 15 years, we aim to deploy autonomous vehicles that are purpose-built for a broad range of ridesharing and transportation scenarios, including short- and long-haul travel, shared commute and other transportation services.
— Lyft, per its IPO filing
  • Lyft says it has "facilitated over 35,000 rides in Aptiv autonomous vehicles with a safety driver since January 2018."
  • From 2017 to 2018, Lyft's research and development spend went up 120% to $300 million largely because of its push into autonomous driving technology.

Bikes, scooters, miscellaneous:

  • Lyft confirms that it paid just over $250 million in cash to acquire Motivate, a bike-sharing company that operates bike rentals in a number of cities.
  • As of Dec. 31, Lyft had $23.3 million worth of scooters not deployed yet.
  • Last year, the company expanded its car rental program for drivers, which generated $54.8 million in revenue for the year. The company says it was not material in the prior years.
  • Lyft plans to spend $300 million on Amazon Web Services between 2019 and 2021.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with additional information from Lyft's IPO filing, and has been corrected to show the founders' stakes as of Feb. 7 (not less than 1% as the latest document shows, which is a placeholder amount).

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states. The CDC later announced domestic travel restrictions for the states.

Why it matters: Trump said hours earlier he was considering quarantine measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN such a measure would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health