Is Lyft becoming the next Amazon? A look at its IPO
Lyft, the No. 2 ride-share competitor behind Uber, recently filed its Form S-1 Registration Statement with the SEC in preparation for an IPO, and the data it revealed is eye-popping.
While most potential investors will quickly focus on the losses Lyft has incurred over the last three years, it’s important to remember: It’s a startup in a fast-growing market, whose early performance mirrors that of Amazon.
Amazon went public in May 1997 after years of losses and only reported its first profit of $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 according to business magazine Quartz. It was growing during a transition when retailing of books went from brick and mortar stores to online. Amazon invested heavily to beat out much larger competitors such as Borders Books, Crown Books, Waldenbooks, Book World, B.Dalton – none of which exist today. Only Barnes & Noble has survived, but it’s considering putting itself up for sale.
Much like Amazon has grown its e-commerce empire into a significant platform for payments and merchant services, gig-economy companies like Lyft, Uber and Grab have made their mark on mobile payments and other financial services. An IPO would add fuel to any of those initiatives.