Need a Lyft?

The time has finally come: it seems that Lyft will go public this week. The ride-sharing service is the first in a long series of expected tech-IPOs that should come down the line this year, despite a brief delay at the hands of the government shutdown. Lyft beat out its primary competitor, Uber, by making it to the market first.

Like many of the other unicorns that are expected to enter the market this year, Lyft will have the focus of much of the investing world this week. But some are already nervous about what the company will be right out of the gates.

Wait and See?

Tim Mullaney at MarketWatch voices his concernsabout some of the potential shortcomings of Lyft in its early days as a public entity. His primary critique is that the goals the company has set for itself are expansive, long-term goals, ones that will not be easily accomplished in the early days or even years of its public availability.

Lyft dreams of changing the car game. Too many people are paying too much money to use their cars too little, according to them, and they want to change that by offering subscription-based rides around town. It’s a big endeavor, and one that isn’t nearly ready for nationwide rollout. But in a game that is already dominated by Uber, Lyft is smart to approach things from a different angle.

Mullaney believes that the best approach with Lyft is a wait-and-see game, and others share his perspective. The company is not set for explosive growth out of the gate, and waiting to see where the market settles is a viable option here.

Your Uber is Near

Reports suggest that Uber isn’t fair behind its rival in going public. A mid-March reportfrom the Street suggested that April was their target month for an IPO, and everything seems to have remained on target there.

Lyft has a huge advantage in going public first, but that Uber has the name recognition and market saturation to make it a formidable foe. Both companies are very significant tech unicorns, though, and we will continue to monitor their growth here at UW.

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