It's impossible to think about Uber's upcoming IPO without putting it in context of its rival Lyft, which also went public earlier this year. In its IPO filing, it warned its operating expenses will increase significantly in the coming years, and it clearly stated that it "may not achieve profitability". Although its user base consists of customers of other services and ride-sharing, the number is nearly five times the 18.6 million announced by competitor Lyft Inc.
In its initial public offering filing on Thursday, Uber revealed that Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. -controlled SoftBank Vision Fund was its largest shareholder with a 16 percent stake. Investing in these companies as they make their stock market debuts can seem a way to easy riches.
The big picture: Early estimates suggest Uber could be prepared to raise as much as $10 billion. Included in the S-1 was Uber's net income for 2018, which increased to $997m, a major jump in income from its 2017 net loss of over $4m.
After making the public filing, Uber will start a series of investor presentations, called a roadshow, which according to the Reuters will start the week of April 29.
A key question facing Uber now is if it wants to keep pouring funds into its unprofitable ride-hailing business or redirect the tons of cash from its IPO into more profitable ventures such as Uber Eats food delivery startup. This will return before executives head out on a so-called street series created to drum up interest in the IPO among institutional investors that will be given the first opportunity to buy the inventory before it starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Uber revealed in the filing it could have to pay a license fee to Waymo or face a substantial delay to the development of its self-driving technology if the initial assessment of its technology by an independent expert is confirmed.
One advantage Uber will likely seek to play up to investors is that it is the largest player in numerous markets in which it operates. Uber said that in many areas, Uber Eats is growing even faster than its ride-hailing business.
The bankers will also tout the public company experience of Uber's management team, which presented its business to bank analysts last month, one of the people said.
Queries are appearing into the use of duplicitous software of Uber to fool authorities regulators.
The blowback from the problems helped Lyft pick up ground in the US - something Uber acknowledged in its filing - and led to the ouster of Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in 2017.
"We have incurred significant losses since inception, including in the United States and other major markets".
Uber said its revenue has risen by more than ten-fold since 2014.
Outside the US-Canada combine, according to the miles of rides covered, Europe is the largest market (271 million) for Uber followed by Latin America (94 million), Japan/South Korea (79 million), and Middle East & Africa (74 million).
Uber is reserving some shares in the IPO for drivers who have completed 2,500 trips among other criteria.