Uber Technologies plans to file for an initial public offering as the race for autonomous ride sharing supremacy heats up. Much like its rival company, Lyft. GM has a stake in Lyft at roughly 9 percent after an initial $500 million investment.
According to sources familiar with the matter, an Uber IPO filing was confidentially submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last week. Unlike Lyft, who publicized its announcement, Uber has decided to keep the matter private for the time being. Bloomberg says the public offering could be one of the largest IPOs of 2019 and given the scale, could become of the top five biggest of all time.
Bankers have allegedly told Uber that it’s San Francisco-based business could be worth north of $120 billion when it opens on the public market. Last week, Lyft said it had submitted its prospectus for an IPO to the SEC. The Uber IPO filing was actually reported on first by the WSJ, but company officials have continued to decline opportunities for comment.
Uber’s Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi, has significant financial incentive to take the company public next year at a sky-high valuation, as investors have long pushed toward an IPO, allowing them and key employees to sell their equity in the company. All of this is happening in the wake of GM’s announcement that President Dan Ammann would vacate his executive post, and join the company’s autonomous subsidiary, Cruise Automation, as CEO.
Ammann was instrumental in GM’s acquisition of the startup back in 2016 and has been instrumental in helping GM return to financial health. Earlier this year, the SoftBank Vision Fund invested $2.25 billion into Cruise, while Honda tossed in an additional $2.75 billion for a 5.7 percent stake in the autonomous venture.
The pair of outside investments have pushed Cruise’s valuation to nearly $15 billion as GM looks to boost its sideways share prices. The valuation is still a far cry from the whopping figure we’re expected to see with an Uber IPO, but considering GM purchased the company for a rumored $1 billion, the return is significant.
GM Cruise is now being referred to as an “autonomous vehicle ride-sharing company” by General Motors, which reinforces the automaker’s goal to launch an autonomous rideshare service sometime next year.