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Uber releases its long-awaited IPO filing

Key Points
  • Uber will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "UBER," the company said in a filing released publicly on Thursday.
  • Uber reported 2018 revenue of $11.27 billion.
  • The company posted net income of $997 million in 2018, but an adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.85 billion.
Uber files to IPO on the NYSE

Uber released its long-awaited IPO prospectus. The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "UBER."

The company has self-reported unaudited financials for several quarters — one of the few tech giants expected to debut this year to do so. That means the public S-1 serves less as the typical first look into financials and acts more as a contextualized official record.

The filing comes about two weeks after rival Lyft debuted on the public markets.

The two ride-hailing companies had been racing toward the public markets practically in tandem, though Uber's offering is likely to be significantly larger, and one of the largest offerings this year. The company was previously reported to be seeking a valuation of up to $120 billion.

Uber is expected to provide a price range for its shares later this month and go public in May.

Below are the highlights from Uber's filing.

Revenue and users

Here's how Uber did in 2018:

  • Revenue: Uber reported 2018 revenue of $11.27 billion compared to $7.93 billion in 2017.
  • Net income: The company posted net income of $997 million in 2018, but an adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.85 billion.
  • Users: Uber reported "Monthly Active Platform Consumers" or "MAPCs" of 91 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. These are users who take at least one ride on Uber or buy at least one meal on Uber Eats. MAPC was up 35% from the year before.
  • Trips: Uber reported 1.49 billion trips in the fourth quarter of 2018. Uber counts individual UberPool riders as taking a separate trip, even if they're carpooling in the same vehicle. Uber reported 1.09 billion trips the year before.
  • Gross bookings: The company reported gross bookings of $11.48 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from $9.19 billion the year before. Gross bookings are the full dollar value of an Uber ride, Uber Eats deliver or the amount paid by shippers on Uber freight.

Major shareholders

Uber also disclosed its major shareholders in the filing.

  • SB Cayman 2, which is owned by the SoftBank Vision Fund, is the largest stakeholder with more than 222 million shares representing a 16.3% stake.
  • Benchmark Capital Partners holds the next-highest stake at 11% with 150 million shares affiliated with the firm.
  • Uber's ousted co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick still owns 8.6% of the company, according to the filing, making him the third-biggest stakeholder with 117.5 million shares. With the company expected to debut with a valuation up to $100 billion, Kalanick's stake could be worth nearly $9 billion.
  • Entities affiliated with Uber co-founder Garrett Camp's fund Expa-1 own a 6% stake in Uber with about 81.6 million shares.
  • The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, owns a 5.3% stake with 72.8 million shares.
  • Alphabet also owns a sizable stake in Uber. Entities affiliated with the company hold over 71 million shares, leaving it with a 5.2% stake.

Driver rewards

Uber disclosed more details about its reward program for drivers who have significantly contributed to its growth.

  • In the U.S., drivers will receive rewards equal to $100, $500, $1,000, or $10,000 depending on the number of lifetime trips they completed.
  • Drivers get those rewards if they completed 2,500, 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 trips by April 7, 2019.
  • Outside of the U.S., Uber said drivers meeting the same criteria will be eligible for the reward, but it could be adjusted on a regional basis to take into account differences in average hourly earnings.

Risk factors

Uber identified several risk factors that could adversely affect its business.

  • Driver employment status: Keeping drivers content with their earnings from Uber is key to its business. Uber said that if drivers were reclassified as employees, rather than independent contractors, it would have an adverse impact.
  • Competition: Uber also identified intense competition in the market as a risk factor. To remain competitive, Uber said it may have to further lower its rates and offer greater incentives for both drivers and consumers. It also recognized as a risk factor that others may beat it in developing successful commercial autonomous vehicles.
  • Operating expenses: Uber expects its operating expenses "to increase significantly in the foreseeable future."
  • Brand perception: The company also alluded in its risk factors to negative media coverage around its workplace culture under former CEO Kalanick. "We have previously received significant media coverage and negative publicity, particularly in 2017, regarding our brand and reputation, and a failure to rehabilitate our brand and reputation will cause our business to suffer," the filing said.
  • Ongoing investigations: The company also referenced ongoing investigations and criminal inquiries being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and other domestic and foreign agencies. One such inquiry involves its 2016 data breach of consumer data. In Singapore, Uber said the Competition and Consumer Commission concluded its acquisition of Grab violated local competition laws and imposed fines and restrictions on both companies.
  • Government regulation: Uber recognized that limitations on its service by government entities could hurt its business. It noted that a significant percentage of its gross bookings are to and from airports and in large metropolitan areas. If certain jurisdictions choose to block or limit Uber's service, its business could be negatively impacted, the filing said. Uber already has seen restrictions on its dockless e-bikes and e-scooters in some municipalities like Santa Monica, California, and Austin, Texas.
  • Injury or death: Uber also recognized risks of injury and death for consumers using its newer mobility products due to inexperience or carelessness. Uber said these products actually expose the company to more liability because consumers can face more severe injuries if they have an accident on a scooter rather than in a vehicle.

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