Ridesharing juggernaut, Uber, is taking the company public in what’s set to be one of the biggest tech IPOs of all time, as well as the largest this year.
Uber filed the required paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, detailing a loss of US $10 billion since 2016 and seeking a valuation between US $90 billion and US $100 billion, which I think you’ll agree is a lot of bloody money. In total, the company is hoping to sell about US $10 billion worth of stock, which equates to a smidge over $14 billion in Australian dollars.
The company’s biggest goal will be convincing potential investors that it’s on track to being a profitable venture. In 2018, Uber clocked its net income at US $997 million, which is certainly much smaller than its losses in the same year, which came in at US $1.85 billion, although this was down 15 per cent on the previous year.
Experts reckon Uber will be spruiking its growth over profits, which is probably a smart strategy given its current situation. I’d wager those who believe in its future with autonomous vehicles will be keen on investing, but its track record in the area could repel others.
Last year, a driverless Uber hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, while a supervisor was in the vehicle. The county prosecutor has deemed the company not liable for the accident, but the blame could still fall onto the supervisor given she was watching TV shows on her phone for the entire shift.
However you feel about its past, there’s no denying Uber is still the big dog in the ridesharing pen, even here in Australia. I’d say plenty of folks will be keen on getting amongst the IPO. It’s expected to begin trading as a public company in May.