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Looking Ahead In Tech IPOs: Uber This Week, Fastly The Next

Morning Markets: I hope you aren’t tired of hearing about Uber.

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Welcome to Uber IPO Week. The ride-hailing giant is expected to price Thursday and begin trading on Friday.

If you were bored of hearing about Uber, its path to the public markets, its capital structure, its various valuations and the like, sorry. You are going to hate the next few days. (You could always tune into Build, instead?)

Regardless, we have a host of questions outstanding regarding Uber’s impending liquidity event, though by the time Friday wraps we’ll have a much better feel for the answers to many.

Here’s what’s on my mind:

  • What is Uber worth? I have no idea. The company is hard to price given a number of factors. But it will receive a price this week and sell a boatload of shares. What the final sticker price is will be fascinating.
  • Relatedly, are investors worried about Uber’s slowing growth? Part of the company’s impending valuation dance will revolve around how investors handle worries about slowing growth at the giant company. As we’ve banged on about for some time, in Q4 of 2018 and Q1 of 2019, Uber’s growth slipped, slowing to a crawl. Losses didn’t follow suit. We’ll see what the public markets think.
  • How much net cash does Uber put into its pocket? Those losses require reserves, and Uber is looking to bolster its cash position to fund itself. The final dollar amount raised in its IPO will be historic and material. But will it be large enough for Uber to avoid a later, dilutive follow-on offering?
  • Following the offering, does Lyft go up or down? Depending on how Uber prices, Lyft, a smaller, competing company could see its shares rise or fall. Uber could re-price Lyft, in effect.

That gives you the picture. After endless hype, capital, problems, and successes, it’s finally time for Uber to go public.

We’ll talk about something else next week, I promise. The impending Fastly IPO, for example. The smaller but interesting company is expected to price Thursday and trade Friday just like Uber, but a week after. More from Crunchbase News on that deal here.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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