The rivalry between ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft is poised to heat up in 2019 as both prepare to hit the public markets.
But the battle may be more intense in Japan than the U.S.
That's because while the two competitors are located just a couple miles apart in San Francisco, the biggest shareholder in each company is based in Tokyo.
According to Lyft's IPO prospectus filed on Friday, e-commerce and internet conglomerate Rakuten owns 13 percent of the company. SoftBank, led by Masayoshi Son, acquired about 15 percent of Uber last year.
Uber and Lyft have been at the center of a capital-raising bonanza in technology over the past half-decade, with venture firms, private equity shops, hedge funds and multinational corporations pouring in billions of dollars to fund massive growth efforts before the recipients were ready or willing to go public.
"We have seen the future and this is it," Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, now 53, said in the 2015 press release announcing a $300 million investment in Lyft. "We believe businesses like Lyft that unlock the latent potential that exists in people and society hold the key to the future."