Lyft in talks to hire advisor for 2019 IPO

An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing car in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. Picture taken September 21, 2017. (Reuters pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: US ride services firm Lyft Inc is in talks with an advisor for a targeted March or April 2019 initial public offering, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In September last year, Reuters reported that the second biggest US ride service company was close to hiring an IPO advisory firm in its first concrete step to become publicly listed.

Lyft has hired Class V Group LLC to work with the management on the process and plans to begin taking pitches from banks starting as early as September, Bloomberg said, citing sources.

Lyft and Class V Group did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Lyft has, in the past, defied predictions about when it will launch its IPO.

The ride hailer had raised US$600 million in its most recent funding round led by Fidelity Management in June this year, doubling its valuation to US$15.1 billion in little over a year. Lyft operates in roughly the same number of US cities as rival Uber, which is also planning to go public next year.

An initial public offering for Lyft would amplify Uber’s troubles. It would be an opportunistic way for the company, which was valued at US$7.5 billion in its last funding round, to capitalise on its larger rival. Fresh capital for Lyft would merely compound the frontrunner’s injuries.