Ride-hailing giant Lyft aims to raise $2.1bn for upcoming IPO

Hannah Boland
Lyft is currently only available in North America - AFP

Lyft is aiming to raise as much as $2.1bn (£1.6bn) when it floats in New York, regulatory filings have revealed, in what would be the largest tech IPO since Snap in 2017.

The US ride-hailing company said it would be offering 30.8 million shares at between $62 and $68 each, giving it an expected valuation of up to $21bn.

The latest documents put Lyft further ahead than rival Uber in the race to go public. Both companies' planned IPOs were reportedly delayed due to the US government shutdown earlier this year, which saw staff at the Securities & Exchange Commission out of action. 

In order to float, companies must file documents with the SEC for formal review, and then amend their prospectus before filing a final version.

During the shutdown, there was "nobody at the SEC" to provide comments, essentially halting the process, David Zaring, associate professor at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania told The Daily Telegraph earlier this year. 

However, the number of tech IPOs is likely to speed back up in the coming months.

Uber is expected to make its filings public in April, having filed papers confidentially in December. Its valuation could reportedly be as high as $120bn when it floats, from $76bn at its last funding round.

There has also been talk that Slack, Pinterest and Airbnb could float this year. 

Lyft's expected $21bn valuation would still make it one of the largest technology IPOs in recent years, the biggest since Snap's $24bn float two years ago.

The high price tag comes despite Lyft not yet being profitable, and in documents released earlier this month, Lyft revealed it had lost $911m last year, widened from $688m a year earlier. 

In its latest filings, it said it may not be able to "achieve or maintain profitability in the future". 

Lyft has yet to launch in the UK, and currently just operates in North America, although did say it was planning international expansion going forward.