Uber files for IPO, discloses $1.8B loss in 2018

Muriel Colon
April 12, 2019

Uber's filing follows rival Lyft Inc.'s $2.34 billion offering in March, which is the biggest U.S. IPO so far this year. The Uber filing gave the first comprehensive financial picture of the ride-hailing and transportation services company.

Uber is a considerably larger business than Lyft, operating in countries across the globe including Brazil, Mexico and India, as well as the Middle East, where it recently acquired Careem..

"We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability", Uber said in its filing.

The breakdown shows Uber has been generating the robust revenue growth that entices investors, but also racked up almost $8 billion in losses since its inception.

"Our mission is to ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion", said the document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Uber had not disclosed the latest user numbers before, and the figure indicates the scale of the business.

The company reported revenue of $11.3 billion in 2018 on $49.8 billion in bookings, that's up 42 percent in revenue from 2017.

Uber set a placeholder amount of $1 billion but did not specify the size of the IPO. It reportedly plans to sell about $10 billion worth of stock, which would make it one of the largest United States tech IPOs ever coming in at an anticipated $120 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is aiming for a public valuation of as much as $100 billion.

Uber Technologies Inc has decided it will seek to sell around $10 billion worth of stock in its initial public offering (IPO), and will make public the registration of this offering on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week. That will come before executives head out on a so-called road show created to drum up interest in the IPO among institutional investors who will be given the first opportunity to buy the stock before it begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange next month.

There are questions about how Uber will navigate any transition towards self-driving vehicles, a technology which is seen as potentially dramatically lowering costs but which could also disrupt its business model.

Uber revealed in the filing it could have to pay a license fee to Waymo or face a substantial delay to the development of its self-driving technology if the initial assessment of its technology by an independent expert is confirmed.

In its federal filing, Uber warned of the fierce competition it faces on that front from rivals such as Tesla and Google's Waymo, who it said could introduce autonomous vehicles earlier than Uber.

A Waymo spokesperson said: "This review is on-going and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is not being used by Uber".

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