Uber Reportedly Makes Confidential IPO Filing, Following Rival Lyft's Footsteps

Reports claim that Uber filed at virtually the same time as its main rival.

Uber
Eric Risberg—AP

One day after Lyft announced that it had filed paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber had done the same. The New York Times subsequently reported that Uber had made a confidential filing the same day as Lyft, so it looks like the two ride-hailing companies are set to battle for Wall Street investors' love.

Investment bankers have told Uber that the company could be worth up to $120 billion in an IPO, according to The New York Times. That's a big increase from the $72 billion valuation from Uber's last funding round and comes despite Uber admitting that it lost $1.07 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

An inability to turn a profit is just one of the many hurdles Uber faces in going public. The company may have invented app-based ride-hailing, but it has been mired in scandals for the past couple of years. CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in 2017, but Uber has still found its share of trouble since. A massive data breach that occurred under Kalanick's tenure was made public in late 2017, and Uber has faced increasing scrutiny from regulators over issues like driver pay.

Uber bet its future on self-driving cars, but the program was dealt a serious blow when a test car struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March 2018. That was the first known fatal crash involving an autonomous car. Uber shut down testing and, while it has scored a $500 million investment from Toyota, it doesn't look like the program will be back up to speed anytime soon.

Uber also faces stronger competition. Lyft is smaller than Uber but has used its larger rival's scandals to steadily grow market share. Lyft is also making big leaps in bike sharing and scooter sharing—areas that both companies view as a natural extension of their ride-hailing services. With both Lyft and Uber potentially launching IPOs at the same time, they will have to compete aggressively for investors' dollars as well.