Uber plans to sell $10 billion stock in IPO

Uber reportedly plans to sell $10 billion worth of stock in an initial public offering in May.                  Getty Images

"While we have had unparallelled growth at scale, we are just getting started". However, it also lost $1.8 billion in 2018, as measured by EBITDA, a profitability metric. The company generated net income of US$997 million in 2018 on revenue of US$11.3 billion, though operating losses totaled US$3.03 billion.

Uber said it plans to give bonuses to qualified drivers and is setting aside an undisclosed portion of its stock for drivers to buy. Uber expected to raise about $10 billion at a valuation of $90 billion to $100 billion.

In the end, Uber is widely expected to be the biggest technology IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group went public in 2014.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi acknowledged the self-inflicted wounds that damaged the ride-hailing service's reputation while trying to make the case that the company has rehabilitated itself since he took over 18 months ago.

Uber will follow Lyft in going public. The San Francisco-based company applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker UBER, according to its filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Uber faces questions over how it will navigate any transition towards self-driving vehicles, a technology seen as potentially dramatically lowering costs but which could also disrupt its business model.

"With Uber, investors will soon have a second option to make a bet on the future of mobility and transportation with the clear market share leader", Wedbush analysts said in client note. And it's likely to be the largest among US tech companies since Facebook took its bow on Wall Street seven years ago at a time when most people hadn't ever considered using an app on their smartphone to summon a ride from strangers driving their own cars. Those have included sexual harassment allegations, a massive data breach that was concealed from regulators, use of illicit software to evade authorities and allegations of bribery overseas. Khosrowshahi joined Uber in 2017 from Expedia Inc to replace company co-founder Travis Kalanick who was ousted as CEO.

Uber drivers might not get health insurance or other benefits, but after the ride-hailing company filed to go public Thursday, it's paying out long-time drivers with a cash reward and an option to invest in the company.

A representative for Uber declined to comment. The company claims more than 65 percent market share in the United States and Canada, compared to Lyft's stated 39 percent in the United States. A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver in Washington, DC is suing the company for $10 million.

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