Here are the 7 things you need to know about Lyft’s IPO

By Marcus Baram

Welcome to this year’s IPO season! Expect plenty of drama, from insane highs to deep disappointments, and all kinds of craziness in between featuring some of Silicon Valley’s biggest unicorns, such as Uber, Slack, Postmates, and Pinterest.

First out the gate is everyone’s favorite ride-sharing middle child—Lyft—which priced its shares at $72 apiece, raising more than $2 billion and giving it a $24 billion valuation. It debuts on the Nasdaq this morning, sporting the ingenious ticker symbol of . . . wait for it . . . “LYFT.”

Here are seven things that you need to know about Lyft on the eve of its big day:

    It’s increased its share of the ride-sharing market in the U.S. from 22% in 2016 to 39% in December 2018, largely due to discounts it’s been offering riders.

    Though its revenue more than doubled to $2.16 billion in 2018 (from 2017), its total costs and expenses keep growing fast, increasing to $3.1 billion in 2018 (from $1.8 billion in 2017).

    It is expected to be one of the largest IPOs ever for an American startup in the tech sector, only exceeded by that of Facebook in 2012.

    Due to its dual-class structure of shares—class A shares carry one vote each, class B shares carry 20 votes each—Lyft’s cofounders Logan Green and John Zimmer will control almost 49% of its voting shares despite owning only 5% of the company’s outstanding stock.

    Lyft has nearly tripled the number of people it’s given at least one ride to, from 6.6 million in late 2016 to 18.6 million in late 2018.

    It intends to do some good with its money—announcing that it plans “to invest the greater of 1% of our profits or $50 million annually toward our social impact efforts.

    Lyft says it will offer cash bonuses of up to $10,000 to some of its most active drivers; that includes an option to purchase shares in the IPO.

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