With Uber receiving massive valuation proposals for the past few months, giving Lyft the first crack at public market investors who cry sacrilege anytime it comes to investing in competing companies will be huge for the No. 2.
Uber is already the largest of the venture-backed "unicorns" valued at more than $1 billion, which until recently was considered rare without tapping stock markets.
Uber came under fire more than a year ago after public scrutiny into the company's workplace culture that many said included sexual harassment and discrimination.
Uber shared its third quarter financial results recently, with net losses up 32 percent quarter-over-quarter to $939 million on a pro forma basis.
Tina Halkinson helped bring Tech Lurker from a-weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. Lyft, Uber's largest competitor in the US, will likely take the plunge in the first quarter of 2019, too. Its IPO will be underwritten by JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse Jeffries. This potentially means that Uber may not be patient enough to wait for second half of the next year to launch its IPO.
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Uber has also added a number of other businesses, which are growing but have yet to show sustainable profits, in a bid to become a one-stop mobility app.
The businesses include freight hauling, food delivery and electric bike and scooter rentals. Lyft's valuation is likely to end up between $20 billion and $30 billion, one source added. While it continues to grow faster than its larger competitor, Uber, it is also losing money.
Lyft has 35 per cent of the ride share market in the United States with no future plans of launching down under.
Lyft in particular is one of the newest entrants to self-driving and has only a small robo-taxi service in Las Vegas using another company's technology.
Lyft presents other risks, including unresolved questions about its workforce of independent contractor drivers.
Nonetheless, if Uber's future IPO is estimated to be nearly 5x bigger than Lyft's, does it really matter who gets there first? Both companies face legal battles with drivers over their classification.