Lyft and Uber are stealing the spotlight in the global ride-hailing market with massive upcoming initial public offerings – and that doesn't bother their European rivals.
At the Goldman Sachs Disruptive Technology Symposium in London this week, European ride-hailing and carpooling start-ups said they will be closely watching Uber and Lyft's highly-anticipated IPOs but added they are more focused on profitability than their U.S. counterparts.
"You need to be much more focused on operations and costs, which is not something that comes very naturally to most Silicon Valley companies, so I think that's where we have a big edge," said Markus Villig, CEO of Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt, formerly called Taxify, in an interview with CNBC from the conference Tuesday.
Lyft is expected to start trading publicly on the Nasdaq on Friday at a valuation of roughly $20 billion, but the company, like its archrival Uber, has yet to make money. Lyft's IPO prospectus revealed a $911 million net loss in 2018, while Uber reported even heftier adjusted losses of $1.8 billion during that period.
Tech companies like Uber and Lyft have been able to prioritize growth over profits thanks to abundant funding in private markets. Some investors aren't convinced the same strategy will work once the companies go public.