Uber, Losing $1.8 Billion USD a Year, Reveals Historic IPO Filing

Uber is ready to ride and its destination is set for Wall Street.

The massive ridesharing company has officially filed for an initial public offering (IPO), according to documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and released Thursday.

The San Francisco ride-hailing company’s initial public offering, its first sale of shares to the public, is expected to be the biggest Wall Street debut in the U.S. tech sector since Facebook raised $16 billion USD in 2012. Reports suggest Uber will seek a valuation of $100 billion USD, more than the value of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors combined.

“Ten years ago, Uber was born out of a watershed moment in technology,” current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a letter included in the SEC filing. “What began as ‘tap a button and get a ride’ has become something much more profound.”

The famous and highly-valued company’s IPO filing has been long-awaited by employees, investors, and the technology public as a whole, especially after rival ride-hailing company Lyft filed to go public last month with a thus-far disappointing debut.

Uber’s huge capital raises, quick growth, and persistent losses have made it a bellwether among the current cohort of companies which reached private-market valuations of $1 billion or more, colloquially known as “unicorns.”

Uber in the documents said by the end of 2018, its revenue reached $11.3 billion USD, with 91 million users on its platforms and 1.5 billion trips taken. But the company’s operating losses last year totalled $1.8 billion USD.

“We have incurred significant losses since inception, including in the United States and other major markets,” the documents state, spelling out Uber’s investment risks. “We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability.”

While the company has dominated the ride-hailing market since its inception in 2009, it has struggled with big public controversies like spying on its closest competitor, Lyft, deceiving regulators, and promoting a sexist workplace culture under former CEO Travis Kalanick, the latter allowing Lyft to swoop in and boast a cleaner image with an “uplifting culture.”

The ride-sharing company’s public listing will come after rival Lyft’s ultimately disappointing IPO in late March. Lyft’s shares opened at $72 USD but were down to a low of about $59 as of Friday morning.