Savvy millennials toggle between the Uber and Lyft

Savvy millennials toggle between the Uber and Lyft smartphone apps to see which car-hailing service has the cheapest fare for the same ride. In 2019 the middle-aged money manager could do something similar with the pair’s respective stock tickers. Yesterday Lyft announced that it had filed confidentially for a US initial public offering… The move was not a surprise. Its larger rival Uber is similarly preparing for a 2019 listing, though after Lyft. That could give Lyft a first-mover advantage if equity investors pile into the first ride-hailing company to go public. But the volatile stock market and peaking economy suggest these folk might not want the first ride that appears on their screens. Lyft was most recently valued at $15 billion. Unlike Uber, it has not released periodic financial data. News reports indicate annual gross bookings (sum of fares) of $8 billion and revenue (what Lyft keeps) approaching $2 billion… Lyft, like Uber, has been a prodigious fundraiser, taking in nearly $5 billion of cash to fund its losses from selling rides below cost… But even if ride sharing is revolutionary, in an economic slowdown public investors will show less patience with lossmakers. That is particularly true for a business unable to enforce loyalty. A Lyft competitor is just a toggle away on a smartphone.