After filing confidentially filing paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday last week, ride-sharing companies Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc are expected to begin trading publicly by as early as Q1, 2019. According to Bloomberg, the companies “became markets unto themselves, where investors poured in capital and traded stakes worth billions of dollars.”
Bloomberg reports that, contrary to expectation, the largest predicted shareholders in the American ride-sharing service providers “aren’t, for the most part, Silicon Valley venture capitalists.” Instead, two major Japanese conglomerates, SoftBank Group Corp. and Rakuten have emerged as the largest holders of Uber and Lyft stock respectively.
Owned by leading tech-investor Masayoshi Son, SoftBank now owns more than 15% of Uber, a full 10% more than the second-largest largest holder of the company’s stock, early-stage Uber investor, Benchmark.
Along with e-commerce corporation Rakuten, which owns “more than 10%” of Lyft, the two Japanese companies hold “at least US$13bn” worth of the two companies.
Uber has announced it hopes its IPO will be worth up to $120bn, whereas Lyft says it is angling for the $18bn to $30bn range.
Currently, Uber’s largest shareholders are:
SoftBank, which spearheaded the largest equity transaction ever in a VC-backed startup when it led a deal worth about $9 billion with Uber and its investors in January. SoftBank’s investor consortium purchased about $8 billion from Uber investors and $1.25 billion in new shares in January. Benchmark, the Saudi Arabian Government’s Public Investment Fund (which also holds a stake in SoftBank), and Google parent company, Alphabet Inc.
Lyft's largest shareholders are:
Rakuten (more than 10%), General Motors Company (over 5%), Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer (7% between them).