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  • Felix Salmon for Axios:

    The bottom line: A whopping 81% of the $29.55 billion in equity that Uber has raised is underwater. IPO investors have lost $655 million, while investors from 2016 and 2018 have between them lost $2.27 billion.

    Losers: Investors who bought Uber shares 3 years ago have lost 15% of their money, before fees. The opportunity cost is even greater: Investors in the S&P 500 have seen their money grow by 50% over the same period.

    Holy. Guacamole. That sucks.

    Uber lost more money than any other company that has ever gone public. That’s impressive and morally repugnant. Sure, it minted a few millionaires and reinforced the world’s wealthiest man, Jeff Bezos with a cool $400M. Fun. I wonder how the underwater investor feel right about now?

    It’s still early days — but I’m still largely a proponent of Lyft (and the subsidiary Motivate for that matter). Personally, I believe Uber will bleed into oblivion thanks to the rat-race of short sellers. But if automation is the key to profitability (for any ride-hailing company), Uber just shot the starting pistol.

    Crossing the chasm of losses per share for these companies will be an arduous race. It’s going to be an insane ride. Especially during this absolutely absurd trade war Trump has started, which I should add, irrefutably, the US will lose this trade war if Trump continues to escalate.

  • Lyft Files for IPO

    From TechCrunch:

    In a confidential filing with the SEC, Lyft did not state the number of shares it expects to offer, nor the price range. But Lyft says it expects to make its initial public offering after the SEC finishes its review process.

    Lyft was last valued at about $15 billion, while competitor Uber is valued north of $100 billion.Uber, of course, is also expected to go public sometime next year. According to Reuters, Lyft’s IPO will happen during the first half of 2019 and be underwritten by JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Jeffries.

    This is pretty bold, for one. To seek an IPO during a pretty tumultuous and anxious bearish market. As of writing, 2018 was a pretty bullish year. By the time Lyft IPO’s there’s a chance that the market will not be too hot. 

    This is all purely speculation of course. I still maintain the belief that Lyft is a great buy. Uber is overvalued, and little has changed since leadership swapped hands. I am very pleased to see Lyft beating Uber to be the first ride-sharing network to IPO. Personally, I’m rooting for Lyft. Fiscally, we all should be honestly. Competition is good in the marketplace, and leaves everyone better off.

    Furthermore, and I can’t quite place it — but Lyft reminds of Apple’s early years in the 1980’s. Maybe I’m just hopeful. I’m not sure. But the fact that both companies believe that their core resources are people — is a big fucking deal. For example, Apple and Lyft care about diversity and inclusion. 

  • From Reuters:

    On Thursday, Reuters reported that San Francisco-based Lyft is close to hiring an IPO advisory firm as a first concrete step toward becoming publicly listed.

    Lyft would establish a public valuation for ride services startups that has been elusive. Lyft was valued at $7.5 billion in its latest fundraising, while larger rival Uber is valued at $68 billion. Some question whether that is fair, given the range of scandals at Uber this year. In August, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi set a new tentative timeline for Uber’s IPO of between 18 and 36 months.

    Interesting news. It appears that Lyft is attempting to get to the IPO stage before Uber. I’m curious what Wall Street will do when they file. I’m rooting for Lyft, and personally rooting for Logan Green — the CEO. Green is smart, methodical and runs a tight ship. The LA Times has a great write-up about him and the future of Lyft, here.

    Uber is hemorrhaging cash in R&D, has continuous workplace problems, and isn’t even profitable. Ride-sharing (and hailing) is a difficult game, but both Lyft and Uber seem to be investing in AI which is a wise choice. It’s good to see Lyft is courting investors this early on in autonomous ride tech, and has even struck deals with Ford and GM. Uber is notably not into collaborations or any deals for that matter.

    Green knows what he’s doing. Nothing creative happens in a vacuum. I’m thinking Lyft is a buy. Uber is definitely in the hard pass column.