Lyft got the ball rolling Friday on what the Wall Street Journal expects will be one of the busiest seasons for tech IPOs in years. Lyft won't actually go public until late March or early April, but it released its IPO documentation to give the public a glimpse into its performance before deciding whether to buy in, per the AP. The short version: It's growing quickly but bleeding money. Lyft reported $2.2 billion in revenue last year—more than double its $1.1 billion in revenue in 2017. That continued a growth trajectory that saw revenue skyrocket more than 200% in 2017 compared with 2016, when the company brought in $343.3 million. But Lyft is still losing money and its executives warned it may struggle to turn a profit, according to Friday's filing. The company lost $911.33 million last year and nearly $3 billion in total since 2012 while raking in $5.1 billion in venture capital.
Its cash balance also is shrinking. Lyft had $517,690 in cash and equivalents at the end of last year, about half of what it had at the end of 2017. Lyft has been in a race with ride-hailing rival Uber to be first to offer its stock to the public, and has positioned itself as the affable alternative to its larger and more ubiquitous rival. Uber, which struggled with public relations setbacks in the past, expects to file its IPO later this year. Lyft's filing says that its co-founders—CEO Logan Green, 35, and President John Zimmer, 34—will keep significant control of the company after it goes public and "will be able to significantly influence any action requiring the approval of our stockholders," including the election of board members, a merger, asset sales or other major corporate transactions.
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