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Lyft filed for an IPO today, getting a jump on rival Uber. The filing does not specify a valuation, but it gives insight into the nuanced situation the company is in. Despite growing ridership and revenue, Lyft’s losses are widening 1/
Lyft’s ridership has grown dramatically in the last two years, from 6.6 million at the end of 2016 to 18.6 million at the end of 2018. It also says its year-over-year increase in riders hit 47 percent in December. That’s A LOT of growth 2/
Lyft is also giving more rides than ever. It gave 52.6 million rides at the end of 2016. That number grew to 178.4 million at the end of 2018 3/
These increases helped the company double its revenue in 2018. Lyft also wrote in the filing that events like the #DeleteUber movement and Susan Fowler’s blog post exposing Uber’s sexist culture helped its bottom line in Q1 and Q2 in 2017 4/
Despite all this, Lyft’s expenses and costs are still growing. Last year, the company spent $804 million—nearly twice what it did in 2016—on sales and marketing to new riders and drivers 5/
As a result, the company lost $911 million last year. But this problem isn’t unique to Lyft, Uber self-reported an adjusted loss of $1.8 billion in 2018. The big question is: Can either of these two companies turn things around? 6/
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